Babylon Health files for US Chapter 7 bankruptcy, winding down Babyl Rwanda and ending care for 2.8 million users (updated)

When added to the UK receivership, it looks like total hull loss* for Babylon. Their US bankruptcy was just made public through a Forbes article (hat tip to HIStalk) that Babylon Health filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with papers dated Wednesday 9 August. This is two days after shutting their Austin HQ and laying off 94 staffers. This confirms that the US company will be liquidated for the value of the assets, which will be sold through the court and the proceeds distributed to secured creditors. One wonders who will be lining up for the IP and other scraps.

Babylon Inc. and Babylon Healthcare Inc. are the two entities filing Chapter 7. There are hundreds of creditors, but as is typical in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, only the creditors secured by collateral will have some chance of being paid something on the dollar. AlbaCore Capital alone is owed $34.5 million from their recent bridge financing and an earlier $300 million in notes due 2026.

Katie Jennings, the writer, notes that Babylon has three other subsidiaries incorporated in Delaware, none of which filed for bankruptcy. In the filings, Babylon’s assets and liabilities are listed as between $100 and $500 million. She attempted to reach their chief operating officer Paul-Henri Ferrand, the signature on the Chapter 7 filing, but his email bounced. (The COO position was eliminated per the Texas Workforce Commission notice.)

Next steps according to the article in the filing: next Thursday 24 August to document its secured and unsecured debtors and summaries of assets and liabilities. Babylon’s creditors will meet on Tuesday 12 September. Bankruptcy documents are on Pacer and on Inforuptcy (fees required)

Update 18 August: The Healthcare Dive article published today has links to both Babylon Inc. and Babylon Healthcare bankruptcy filings. The precipitating act was that Centene first notified Babylon Healthcare on contract non-renewal on 4 August. On 8 August, after the AlbaCore deal collapsed the prior day, Centene terminated all contracts with Babylon effective immediately, save three contracts with Babylon’s IPA, Meritage Medical Network. The Centene contracts constituted over 48% of their US business in 2022. 8 August SEC Form 8-K

In Rwanda, Babylon Health through its Babyl unit is also winding down virtual care that covers 20% of the country. Babylon has a 10-year agreement with the government of Rwanda to provide virtual primary care services to people in that country, subsidized by $2.2 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in a partnership dating back to 2016. By the end of 2022, Babyl reported 2.8 million users, or 20% of that 13.2 million person country, claiming a daily 4,000 medical consults a day, which constitutes an outstanding success by the numbers. But that won’t be preserved in the parent company collapse.

A Monday 7 August email obtained by Forbes states that Babylon will be winding down operations there on a non-disclosed timetable and without a clear path for its 650 employees there. “It is with a heavy heart that we will begin the process of winding down Babyl Rwanda, while in parallel exploring opportunities to find Babyl Rwanda a new home. We have entered into discussions with potential investors and partners and will leave no stone unturned to secure the best possible outcome for our business and Babylonians.” (sic) Regarding layoffs, the email confirmed most of the US layoffs would be immediate, UK employees would largely be retained, and Rwanda and India workers would be told more at team meetings. Employees were warned not to talk to the press and the email was signed ‘Babylon Leadership’.  The Gates Foundation did not comment on whether the foundation had been informed of Babylon’s plans to wind down service.

Previous TTA coverage back to May:

Babylon Health shuts US operations, goes into UK receivership, Babylon merger with AlbaCore and MindMaze collapses, selling UK and transitioning US businesses, bankruptcy anticipated, Babylon Health to go private with AlbaCore in planned ‘Take Private Proposal’, combine with MindMaze, Babylon Health to go private (includes summary of Q1 financials)

This story is developing. *’Hull loss’ describes an aviation accident that results in catastrophic, unrecoverable damage to the aircraft.

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