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iSoft in advanced talks

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Troubled health provider iSoft says it is in the advanced stages of talks which may lead to its sale.

But iSoft's role in the government's attempt to change NHS IT systems - the National Programme for IT - has made discussions more difficult.

The statement said: "These options include discussions with several external parties that have expressed an interest in acquiring iSoft or taking a significant stake in the company. These discussions have taken longer to conclude than the board originally expected because of the need for extensive consultation in respect of the company's role in the National Programme for IT (NPfIT) in England."

iSoft said it was talking to "both trade and private equity" parties. The company is in an "offer period" and therefore limited as to what it can say.

But the company said trading for the year ended 30 April 2007 had hit previous targets. It expects revenue to be towards the top of previous guidance of between £171m and £181m.

Although iSoft still has to sort out its long-term financing, its current cash position is better than expected. Full results should be announced in early July.

The company said in February it was in talks with Australian firm IBA Health but was looking at other offers too. iSoft is being investigated by the Financial Services Authority over the announcement of an unexpected hole in its accounts.

iSoft shares on the London Stock Exchange were up 6.5 per cent at the time of writing.

The whole statement is available here. ®

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