Blackstone to turn healthcare billing company private

Healthcare mergers and acquisitions aren't just booming for hospitals and payers; healthcare payment services firms are getting in on the action too. Most recently, Emdeon has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Blackstone Group, one of the world's biggest private-equity firms, the company announced today.

The transaction, valued at roughly $3 billion, will make Emdeon a privately held company after it went public in August 2009.

Emdeon common shareholders will get $19.00 per share in cash from Blackstone. That's a 17 percent premium to Wednesday's closing price of $16.25, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Customers of the Nashville-based revenue and payment cycle management company span industries, as the company sells software and services to payers, hospitals, physicians' offices, nursing homes, and patients, notes the WSJ.

"We are thrilled to be investing in such a high quality company," Blackstone Senior Managing Director Neil P. Simpkins said in a statement. "Blackstone looks forward to supporting Emdeon and its experienced management team, in continuing to provide innovative products and services to the healthcare industry."

Although the proposed acquisition still needs approval by Emdeon's stockholders and clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, it is expected to close in the second half of this year, according to the press release.  

Due to the transaction, Emdeon said it will not host a conference call to discuss second quarter results, but it will report its earnings on or about Aug. 8, 2011.

For more:
- read the press release
- read the WSJ article

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