Oracle buys health IT specialist Cerner for $28.3 billion

Oracle looks poised to leverage the transaction to take a deep dive into healthcare IT, particularly hands-free interfaces and voice control.

Oracle announced that it will acquire Cerner, a specialist in clinical and healthcare IT systems, for an all-cash purchase price of $95.00 per share, or $23.8 billion in total value. 

The agreement, which is slated to close sometime during calendar year 2022, is expected to be immediately accretive to Oracle's earnings, and to provide "a huge additional revenue growth engine for Oracle for years to come as Oracle expands Cerner's business into many more countries throughout the world." 

The purchase of Cerner will give Oracle an instant, large-scale presence in the healthcare IT market. Oracle's targeting of healthcare is a logical next step for a company that already offers industry' specific solutions for customers in the financial services, telecom, utilities, pharmaceuticals, hospitality, retail, food & beverage, construction & engineering, manufacturing, and government markets. 

Oracle plans to align its solutions with Cerner's to create joint offerings with the goal of "providing medical professionals with better information—enabling them to make better treatment decisions resulting in better patient outcomes." It will also use its increased assets to accelerate new and ongoing product development at Cerner, with a particular focus on increasing usability and integrating voice-enabled user interfaces across its healthcare IT product lines. 

Initial impacts of the union on Cerner products are expected to include multiple Cerner solutions being supported by the Oracle Gen2 Cloud, additional Oracle product integrations to offer increased user access controls for private patient data, and the joining of other products aligned with the duo's plan to provide "continued and enhanced stewardship of health information."

Oracle chairman and CTO Larry Ellison expounded on the preceding goals, saying with this acquisition, "Oracle's corporate mission expands to assume the responsibility to provide our overworked medical professionals with a new generation of easier-to-use digital tools that enable access to information via a hands-free voice interface to secure cloud applications." 

The transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions, including necessary regulatory approvals and Cerner stockholders tendering the majority of their shares. 

If the deal closes successfully, Cerner will become part of Oracle's Industry Business Unit. Oracle plans to retain Cerner's current presence in the Kansas City area, while also expanding its services to new geographies across the globe. 

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