TechCrunch reports that private equity group KKR is buying WebMD for $2.8 billion (that's $66.50 per share), and just in case Western medicine isn't working for them, Forbes reports that KKR is also buying The Nature's Bounty Co., a wellness company that sells fish oil supplements, vitamins, protein bars, and the like.
KKR is trying to corner the market on internet-based health information dissemination at a time when Googling random symptoms to see if they explain that weird rash has become a very common practice. As TechCrunch notes, WebMD has a lot of competition in its quest to horrify, er, provide answers to anyone Googling their symptoms—including Google, which has started including health information on its main search app. Plus, any aspiring hypochondriac knows to also check out the Mayo Clinic's site, as well as those from the Cleveland Clinic, Everyday Health, and eHealthForum.com, and HealthBoards.com, which just so happen to be part of a KKR-owned company called Internet Brands, too. WebMD will be rolled into Internet Brands, which houses B2B sites like MedScape, as well as consumer-focused sites, and ever-popular web destinations like VeinDirectory.org. ML