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Sage still taking buyer's medicine

Goes to Florida for £297m surgical graft

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It's been over a month since we last wrote about a Sage acquisition and, frankly, we were getting antsy. Imagine our relief, then, when the news arrived that the business management software firm is to swallow Florida-based Emdeon Practice Services (EPS) for £297m ($565.9m).

EPS's revenues were £160.3m ($305.4m) in 2005, bagging it a pre-tax profit of £11.4m ($21.7m). The company specialises in administration and financial software for doctor's surgeries in the US, and currently has around 20,000 such SMB customers.

Sage chief executive Paul Walker said: "This market is showing clear demand for automation of business processes. This acquisition continues our strategy of providing industry-specific solutions, by bringing dedicated Sage solutions to this business sector for the first time."

Given the very different nationalised medical market in the UK, Sage says it has no plans to bring EPSs' software across the pond. The acquisition will form the basis of a new healthcare services division for the firm, however.

The cash deal should go through in September, subject to regulatory approval. ®

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