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iSoft in talks with Aussie firm

But keeping options open

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Troubled health provider iSoft is in talks with Australian company IBA Health about a possible takeover, but says it is still looking at other options.

A spokesman for iSoft told The Reg: "We are in dialogue with IBA but it is one of a number options we are considering."

IBA Health issued a statement yesterday which said: "IBA Health Limited (ASX- IBA) confirms that it is in discussions with iSOFT Group plc (the "Company"), which may or may not lead to an all-share recommended offer for the Company being made by IBA Health. IBA Health also confirms that it is in discussions with certain financial institutions to obtain the funding which would be required should an offer for the Company be made by IBA Health."

iSoft is currently being investigated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). In August last year the company revealed a massive loss for the year. The FSA is investigating irregularities in the company's accounts for 2003 and 2004. The firm plays a central role in the National Programme for IT - which aims to improve NHS IT systems.

iSoft shares rose 10 per cent this morning on the news, but those of IBA Health fell some six per cent. ®

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