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IBM to sell Watson Health’s assets for $1 bn, at estimated loss of $3 bn

IBM to sell Watson Health’s assets for $1 bn, at estimated loss of $3 bn
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Almost seven years after announcing Watson Health, IBM will sell the data and assets from the failed healthcare wing to investment firm Francisco Partners for a sum of around $1 billion, after spending more than $4 billion on acquisitions to build the healthcare wing. 

In February 2021, Wall Street Journal reported that IBM was in talks with Morgan Stanley to sell the business, adding that the business was generating about $1billion in revenue and was under constant loss.   

Axios reported earlier this month that IBM had engaged with BofA Securities to find a buyer. 

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It is also to be noted that IBM rival Oracle had bought Medical Records company Cerner for a whopping $28 billion in December last year, a clear sign of betting big on the healthcare market. 

Also read: IBM unveils IBM Z and Cloud Modernization Center to help enterprises with business agility

Francisco Partners will acquire the health insights, MarketScan, Clinical Development, Social Program Management, Micromedex and imaging software assets from the Armonk, New York-based technology solutions company.   

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“Today’s agreement with Francisco Partners is a clear next step as IBM becomes even more focused on our platform-based hybrid cloud and AI strategy,” said Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President, IBM Software.   

Some of the notable acquisitions for Watson Health by IBM include medical imaging company Merge Healthcare, population health company Phytel, data and analytics business Truven Health analytics, among others. 

“Healthcare is already complex and digitisation needs to focus on long term outcomes mainly and of course the profits will come. The problem was never the tech. I hope they can reflect on this and it will be interesting to see what went wrong,” wrote Fungai Ndemera, founder and CEO of healthcare startup, CheckUp health on Linkedin. 

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IBM’s Rosamilia said that the company will remain committed to the broader AI business wing of Watson.