Two Babylon Health divisions have been sold to eMed

Two Babylon Health divisions have been sold to eMed
Babylon Health

Babylon Health's administrators have confirmed that two of the company's divisions have been sold to US digital health business eMed, after an earlier bid to merge the group with Swiss tech firm MindMaze fell through.

In the wake of the venture capital-backed merger, Babylon said its US operations would be shut down immediately and placed into bankruptcy proceedings. Meanwhile, it put two of its business units – Babylon Group Holdings and one of its subsidiaries, Babylon Partners – into administration while it sought buyers.

Administrators Alvarez & Marsal said the sale to eMed had "secured the future of the Babylon UK operations, which provides technology-driven preventative healthcare services, alongside other traditional healthcare activities."

The Babylon businesses have been bought for an undisclosed amount by a newly formed subsidiary of eMed, called eMed Healthcare UK, and includes a telehealth practice that serves people in the UK through contracts with providers like the private health group Bupa.

GP at Hand not included

However, the flagship GP at Hand service that provides primary health services to NHS customers will not be included in the sale of the UK businesses, contrary to early reports, as it is a third-party partnership contracted with the Babylon group, according to a report in the GP journal Pulse.

The business, which operates as an online-first practice with over 100,000 registered NHS patients around London, has not been placed into administration and remains operational.

"The appointment of administrators over Babylon's UK business to facilitate a sale to eMed ensures the least possible disruption for Babylon users, which should continue to operate as normal," commented Andrea Jakes, managing director of Alvarez & Marsal.

Babylon went public in 2021 via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), starting out with a share price of almost $243 and a market cap of more than $3.5 billion, but saw the value of its shares collapse as losses mounted.

In the UK, it was championed by former Health Secretary Matt Hancock as a 'revolutionary' way to deliver healthcare and gained popularity during the pandemic.

Last year, however, Babylon ended its contracts with NHS trusts in Birmingham and Wolverhampton, saying it had to focus on areas that were more profitable, and there have been reports that GP at Hand was being supported by profits from the private side of the group's business and loses money with every new customer.