KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Oracle Corporation announced it acquired Cerner for roughly $30 billion, or $95 per share. The sale still needs to be approved by regulators and is expected to close in 2022.
Cerner is Kansas City’s largest private employer. It was founded in 1979 and grew to employ nearly 30,000 employees around the world, including more than 13,000 people in the Kansas City area.
News that Oracle was buying Cerner, may have come as a surprise to some but Rockhurst University Professor Anthony Tocco said he saw it coming.
“So if you take layoffs and selling of campuses, what that means is they’re having trouble growing,” Tocco said.
Cerner developed digital information systems used by hospitals and health systems. The company said their programs allow doctors and hospitals to provide better care to patients and better information to communities.
“Cerner has been a leader in helping digitize medical care and now it’s time to realize the real promise of that work with the care delivery tools that get information to the right caregivers at the right time,” David Feinberg, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cerner, said. “Joining Oracle as a dedicated Industry Business Unit provides an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate our work modernizing electronic health records, improving the caregiver experience, and enabling more connected, high-quality and efficient patient care.”
Tocco said Cerner had the choice of buying another company or being bought after showing signs they were having trouble.
He calls this a game changer for both companies.
“So this becomes a growth element for Oracle to take all the products that Cerner has and enhance them, make them better, so that it improves them in relationship to their competition,” Tocco said.
Oracle said the acquisition will allow it to expand Cerner’s products into even more healthcare facilities around the world, improving care for everyone.
“Working together, Cerner and Oracle have the capacity to transform healthcare delivery by providing medical professionals with better information—enabling them to make better treatment decisions resulting in better patient outcomes,” Larry Ellison, Chairman and Chief Technology Officer, Oracle, said.
Cerner said Oracle is committed to keeping and growing the company in the Kansas City area and other cities around the globe, something Kansas City leaders hope will continue.
Earlier this year Cerner sold three office properties in the Kansas City metro. All told, Cerner anticipates reducing its metro-area office footprint by 15%, or just over 1 million of the 6.5 million square feet it owned before listing two properties through Colliers International earlier this year.
Tocco said now Oracle can grow and tap into the health care industry, meanwhile Cerner can take on competition it wouldn’t be able to, on its own.
At times acquisitions come with layoffs, but Tocco thinks it’ll only happen at the top.
“Oracle is going to be concentrating on Cerner because that’s where their growth is so Cerner is going to be big boy with Oracle right now,” Tocco said. “So that’s the important part of this because what it means is no job layoffs. They’re not going to lay off jobs. They’re not going to lay off people.”