Tech bellwether International Business Machines (IBM 0.64%) has announced that it will acquire Truven Health Analytics for $2.6 billion. Truven is a provider of cloud-based healthcare data. The deal will add 8,500 additional clients to IBM Watson Health. Big Blue intends on integrating Truven's data sets, which cover important areas around costs, claims, quality, and outcomes.
Truven is the fourth major acquisition related to health data to build on Watson Health.
Does it matter?
Shares are enjoying solid gains on the news while the broader market is mostly flat, so investors are obviously pleased with the deal. It also doesn't hurt that Morgan Stanley happened to upgrade its rating on IBM to overweight this morning, citing expectations that IBM will soon return to growth.
The optimism may also be related to the very reasonable price tag. Truven was previously part of Thomson Reuters as its healthcare division, but was sold to Veritas Capital Fund Management in 2012 for $1.25 billion. Paying just over twice that figure four years later for an acquisition that can very clearly integrate and scale with IBM's existing offerings is an easy call for IBM.