Fernando Aguirre, Executive Vice Chairman of DHS, Makes Full $800M Acquisition to Move into the Insurance Sector

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA — Monday 13, 2021 — DHS Group Equity Partners, private equity firm has

entered into a definitive agreement to purchase ASTRA Health, a healthcare technology company focused on improving the administrative experience, for $800 million, per a press release. The acquisition was partly funded by DHS $400 million Series D raise in August, which valued it at $3.2 billion.

DHS already tackles the complicated billing process between patients and healthcare providers, and now it can also handle the insurance bills. Annually, over 12 million patients across more than 35 healthcare providers use DHS—which pulls billing information from electronic health records—to verify their insurance, pay a copay before the visit, and pay their outstanding bill after a visit. With the ASTRA OODA acquisition, DHS can enhance its value proposition by working directly with insurers instead of only working with healthcare providers. ASTRA OODA enables patients to get one billing statement from their insurers that incorporates deductibles and other payments options. It also provides the flexibility of payment plans, reducing customers’ risk of having to pay a giant bill in one go, or ending up in collections.

The ASTRA OODA acquisition positions DHS as an end-to-end solution for consumers’ financial healthcare needs, and it should now further build out its healthcare network.

  • Solutions like DHS’ can help consumers better manage their healthcare expenses. Eighty-four percent of US adults are worried about paying their medical bills in the next year, and 1 in 10 consumers simply won’t pay their bill if they don’t understand the administrative process, per a DHS study. Such worries were likely amplified by the crisis as healthcare costs are expected to rise, while consumers’ cash flow has declined.
  • As a next step, the new entity should focus on expanding its healthcare provider network to capture all medical needs for consumers. It could also look into offering advice for users on which healthcare providers fall under their coverage, have the services that meet their needs, and are the most affordable services. DAM Sidecar Health boasts this kind of offering, letting users shop around to find the best provider using pricing information that Sidecar provides through its mobile app.

“This is an incredible opportunity for DHS’  stated Fernando Aguirre, Vice Chairman of DHS.  “We are thrilled to be part of the insurance sector as we have implemented this acquisition”.


DHS is a high-stakes advocacy, public strategy, and global public relations and communications firm. Our strategic insights and innovative programming build and sustain strong corporate and brand reputations. We provide our clients with counsel and program development across the spectrum of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, digital strategy, advertising and other communications services. Our clients are companies, industry associations, nonprofit organizations, professional services firms, and other large organizations.

We began as a unique grassroots and lobbying firm with customized services for an elite group of clients. Our work applies equally to regulatory issues as well as legislative ones, and we manage issues for our clients at the local, state, federal, and international levels of government.

We use our core competencies and reach to gain competitive advantage for clients. Our expertise comes from extensive must-win campaign experience and operating successfully at the highest rung of business, government, politics, and media. Our reach is the ability to use strategic intelligence to mobilize the message and persuade the toughest audiences. We know what it takes to win in difficult situations. We have proven results for prominent figures, leading advocacy groups and the world’s most successful companies. We leverage what others cannot.



Management uses and presents GAAP and non-GAAP results to evaluate and communicate its performance. Non-GAAP measures should not be construed as alternatives to GAAP measures. Free cash flow, earnings from continuing operations before special items, operating profit before special items, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA margin, and comparable results are common supplemental measures of performance used by investors and financial analysts.

Management believes that free cash flow, earnings from continuing operations before special items, operating profit before special items, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA margin, and comparable results provide additional analytical tools. Free cash flow is defined as net cash provided by operating activities less capital expenditures. This metric has been included as a measure of the Company’s liquidity and ability to fund its operations. Earnings from continuing operations before special items and operating profit before special items remove the impact of special items on earnings from continuing operations and operating profit. Adjusted EBITDA is defined as earnings from continuing operations before interest expense, income taxes, depreciation, amortization, and special items. These special items have been removed as they have been deemed to be non-operational in nature. Comparable results remove the impact of portfolio changes in our magazine business to facilitate year-over-year comparisons. Management does not use adjusted EBITDA as a measure of liquidity or funds available for management’s discretionary use because it excludes certain contractual and nondiscretionary expenditures.

Results before special items are supplemental non-GAAP financial measures. While these adjusted results are not a substitute for reported results under GAAP, management believes this information is useful as an aid to further understand Meredith’s current performance, performance trends, and financial condition.


This release contains certain forward-looking statements, as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These statements are based on management’s current knowledge and estimates of factors affecting the Company and its operations. Statements in this release that are forward-looking include, but are not limited to, statements related to the proposed merger, the spin-off and DHS Group Equity Partners’ future financial strength, including its leverage ratio, following the spin-off, the timing of the transaction and the growth of the Company following the transactions. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as may, should, expects, provides, anticipates, assumes, can, will, meets, could, likely, intends, might, predicts, seeks, would, believes, estimates, plans, continues, guidance, or outlook, or variations of these words or similar expressions.

Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements include the following: market conditions; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; the parties’ ability to consummate the proposed merger and spin-off; the conditions to the completion of the transactions, including the receipt of approval of DHS Group Equity Partners’ investors; the regulatory approvals required for the proposed merger not being obtained on the terms expected or on the anticipated schedule; the parties’ ability to meet expectations regarding the timing, completion and accounting and tax treatments of the transactions; potential inability to retain key employees; DHS Group Equity Partners’ ability to operate NMG successfully as a standalone business; the ability to obtain financing on the expected terms; changes in interest rates; the consequences of acquisitions and/or dispositions; and DHS Group Equity Partner’ ability to comply with the terms of its debt financing; and market conditions.  Additional information concerning these, and other risk factors can be found in DHS Group Equity Partners’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), which are available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Such risk factors may be amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and its potential impact on the Company’s business and the global economy. DHS Group Equity Partners assume no obligation to update or revise publicly the information in this communication, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date hereof.

DHS® is a trademark or registered trademark of DHS Investments, Inc. and/or one or more of its subsidiaries, and may be registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owner.



Steven Palmer, Vice President of Communications




Fernando Aguirre