DaVita Inc. will sell its underperforming managed-care group to Optum in a $4.9 billion deal that will allow the Denver-based kidney-care provider to reinvest in its core businesses and pursue new investments in other areas of health care.

The announcement of the sale of DaVita Medical Group comes less than one month after CEO Kent Thiry said during an earnings call that he would consider divesting the unit that includes some 30,000 physicians after years of disappointing returns.

DaVita (NYSE: DVA) got into the managed-care business in 2012 with its $4.4 billion purchase of HealthCare Partners, a California-based operator of physician groups that gave it a foothold in the primary-care sector.

While Thiry had mentioned the possibility of breaking apart DaVita Medical Group and separately selling different physicians’ groups located throughout six states, he instead found a deep-pocketed suitor in Optum, a subsidiary of insurance-industry titan UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) that works through physicians’ practices to find ways to improve health care.

Read more at the Denver Business Journal: http://bit.ly/2jlJGtR