WebMD to be bought out by KKR, a private equity firm, for $2.8 billion

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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 05: General view at the 2015 Health Hero Awards hosted by WebMD on November 5, 2015 in New York City.

Investment firm KKR has agreed to buy the medical website for $2.8 billion, five months after WebMD announced it was looking for a buyer.

The sale price represents a 20% premium over the Friday’s closing price. The stock price soared by as much in premarket trading on the announcement.

In a statement, WebMD Chairman Martin Wygod said the company looked at 100 potential suitors, strategic and financial partners.

“We are confident that this transaction maximizes value for our stockholders,” he said.

The company also reported preliminary financial results for the just-completed quarter. Sales and profit improved.

WebMD will become part of KKR’s Internet Brands unit, which started as CarsDirect but had expanded to a wide portfolio of websites before it was purchased by KKR in 2014. Its health care sites include FitDay, eHealth Forum and eDoctors.