Tech giant IBM could reportedly be looking to sell the Watson Health division for more than $1 billion, media reports say.
According to Axios, IBM spent more than $4 billion to build Watson Health via a series of acquisitions.
The business now includes health care data and analytics business Truven Health Analytics, population health company Phytel, and medical imaging business Merge Healthcare.
IBM first explored a sale of the division in early 2021, with Morgan Stanley leading the process, the report said.
WSJ reported at the time that the unit was generating roughly $1 billion in annual revenue, but was unprofitable. Sources said it continues to lose money.
The report mentioned that IBM in late 2021 engaged BofA Securities to find a buyer for Watson Health. Bids were due last week, according to one source who said IBM hopes to select the winner by month’s end.
IBM and BofA declined to comment, but last year IBM CEO Arvind Krishna acknowledged that sometimes the company has promised more than it has delivered.
“Watson was one of IBM’s highest-profile initiatives in recent years and a big bet on the growing healthcare sector, though results disappointed in part because physicians were hesitant to adopt artificial intelligence,” a report said last year.
“IBM is studying alternatives for the unit that could include a sale to a private-equity firm or industry player or a merger with a blank-check company,” the report added, citing sources.