(Bloomberg) -- UnitedHealth Group Inc. agreed to buy Catamaran Corp. for about $12.8 billion, bulking up its drug- benefits business to get better negotiating power in talks with pharmaceutical companies over prices.

UnitedHealth will pay $61.50 a share, financing the acquisition with cash and debt, the companies said in a statement. The offer, which would be UnitedHealth’s largest purchase ever, is 27 percent more than Catamaran’s closing share price of $48.32 on Friday.

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