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Sage sells off US healthcare biz

UK software firm offloads US unit, gives back to its shareholders

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British software firm Sage is selling off its US healthcare unit to a private equity firm for £205m so it can focus on its core American customer base.

The proceeds from the sale will be given back to shareholders through a share buyback programme, the Geordie small business provider said. The sale is expected to be completed in November this year.

"The sale of Sage Healthcare allows management in the North American region to focus on the considerable opportunities that exist within our core US customer base," Sage chief exec Guy Berruyer said in a canned statement.

In May, Sage announced that it had returned to growth for the first time in a year or so as small businesses started to recover from the economic downturn. At the same time, the software outfit said it was continuing to look for acquisition opportunities.

Sage tried to get its hands on Australian accounts provider Mind Your Own Business (MYOB), but lost out to private investment firm Bain Capital in August over fears it wouldn't be able to get shareholder approval. ®

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