RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – IBM’s long rumored sale of assets from its artificial intelligence-based Watson Health business became reality Friday morning.
Big Blue announced the sale of its healthcare data and analytics assets to private equity firm Francisco Partners.
Financial details weren’t disclosed. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.
Bloomberg News reported the deal is worth more than $1 billion .
The move is part of IBM’s strategic decision to focus more on its cloud business which is largely built around Raleigh-based Red Hat technology, which IBM acquired in 2019.
Sold assets include “extensive and diverse data sets and products, including Health Insights, MarketScan, Clinical Development, Social Program Management, Micromedex, and imaging software offerings,” IBM noted.
“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, in the announcement.
“IBM remains committed to Watson, our broader AI business, and to the clients and partners we support in healthcare IT. Through this transaction, Francisco Partners acquires data and analytics assets that will benefit from the enhanced investment and expertise of a healthcare industry focused portfolio,” he added.
The announcement follows reports by the Wall Street Journal and other media sources.
Why sell? The Journal notes that the Watson effort “has fallen short of early hopes.”