Oracle quietly closes $28B deal to buy electronic health records company Cerner

At the end of last year, just before Christmas, Oracle made a big move when it announced it was acquiring electronic health records company Cerner for $28 billion, thrusting it quickly into the top enterprise deal for 2021, just under the wire.

Today, the company announced it has closed the deal, effective tomorrow.

The announcement was anticlimactic in a way, full of corporate financial speak: “Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) announced that a majority of the outstanding shares (the “Shares”) of Cerner Corporation (Nasdaq: CERN) were validly tendered, and the other conditions to the tender offer have been satisfied or waived. The deal will close on June 8, 2022,” the company wrote in statement.

In other words, it got past the oversight of the world’s regulatory bodies and paid off the amount due. With the contracts signed and the stock transferred (or it will be by midnight tonight), the deal is effectively done.

You may recall that Microsoft paid almost $20 billion for Nuance Communications in April 2021 — that deal closed in March. Seeing the same market potential as Microsoft, Oracle paid a pretty penny for Cerner to dive headlong into the healthcare market.

At the time the deal was announced, Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research, said it would bring the lucrative market to the Oracle cloud, and that’s why the company was willing to pay so much for it.

“It’s a smart move by Oracle. It cements Oracle technology even deeper into healthcare, and brings a lot of current and especially future work load to Oracle Cloud. Not to mention that Oracle is buying into the largest and fastest-growing vertical industry,” Mueller told me at the time.

Cerner certainly has the potential to do that, but it depends on how the two companies fit together in the end, and if Oracle can take all of that market potential and turn it into a viable business inside Oracle. However it turns out, the deal is done as of midnight tonight.