Outsourcing and business process giant Capita moved to extend its presence within the commercial occupational health arena in February by snapping up Aviva UK Health, a rival OH business, from insurer Aviva.
The deal, for an undisclosed sum, means that the 120 workers employed by Aviva UK Health in Sheffield, Birmingham and London will transfer over to Capita under Transfer of Undertakings, Protection of Employment (TUPE) rules.
Aviva UK Health provides OH services to more than 500 businesses and other organisations.
One of the attractions of the move from Capita’s perspective was that the Aviva business will take it into a number of potentially lucrative client areas, including transport and logistics.
The Aviva business is expected to be integrated into Capita’s wider range of outsourced health and wellbeing services, which includes the brand FirstAssist Services as well as operations around health-risk management, health screening and surveillance, absence management, employee assistance programmes, ill-health retirement and international assistance and repatriation.
Capita, in turn, has agreed to provide services back to the insurer as part of a “long-term” agreement.
Jason Powell, managing director of Capita’s health and wellbeing business, said: “Capita is committed to the long-term investment in the health and wellbeing market. Organisational wellbeing helps to power business performance, especially in these challenging economic times, and this acquisition will add new capabilities and expertise to Capita’s existing occupational health business.”
The acquisition comes against a backdrop of increased consolidation and cost control in the private healthcare market.
A study by consultancy Mercer in January argued that 45% of employers now consider cost control as their top challenge of 2012.
Within this, there will be a focus on communicating the benefits of health programmes to employees, with an increasing awareness of the importance of wellness and absence management programmes.