Emdeon to go private as Blackstone invests $3 billion

The Blackstone Group has agreed to acquire a controlling interest in Emdeon, one of the largest claims clearinghouses in the U.S., for about $3 billion. Hellman and Friedman, another private equity firm, will continue to hold a minority interest. Currently, Hellman and Friedman and General Atlantic own 70 percent of Emdeon. The rest of the firm is publicly owned.

The acquisition will turn Emdeon into a privately held corporation. Shareholders will receive $19 per share after the deal is finalized. That's just slightly above the $17.65 at which the stock was trading on Aug. 8, but Emdeon stock is now valued near the high end of its 12-month range.

"This transaction provides for a great return for our investors," said George Lazenby, Emdeon CEO. "We are excited about the opportunity to move forward with two excellent investors in Blackstone and Hellman & Friedman. They each have an in-depth understanding of our business and industry, and will be tremendous partners as we continue to pursue our strategy of making healthcare efficient."

For the second quarter of 2011, Emdeon reported net income of $9.2 million, up 27 percent from the $7.3 million for the prior-year period. Its second-quarter revenue was $282.1 million, compared to $243.3 million for the second quarter of 2010. 

Earlier this year, Caris & Co. analyst Leo Carpio named Emdeon the top takeover target within health IT.

Besides routing claims-related transactions, Emdeon offers revenue cycle management solutions, payer management solutions, and pharmacy connectivity services. Its network encompasses 340,000 providers, including 5,000 hospitals and 60,000 pharmacies.

To learn more:
- see Emdeon's announcement
- read this report by the Tennessean

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