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Amicas to reconsider Merge Healthcare buyout offer

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 8:30am
The Associated Press

Amicas Inc., which provides health care information technology services, said Monday it will reconsider a $248 million buyout offer from Merge Healthcare Inc.

The move is a reversal from last week. On Wednesday, the company rejected Merge's offer of $6.05 per share and urged shareholders to support a rival offer of $5.35 per share, or $217 million, from Thoma Bravo. Amicas agreed to the Thoma Bravo offer Dec. 24.

But on Monday Amicas said it considered the Merge offer superior. Amicas said it will offer to negotiate "in good faith" with Thoma Bravo through March 8 under the terms of their agreement. Amicas' board of directors authorized ending the Thoma Bravo deal if the Merge offer is still superior after negotiations.

"There can be no assurance that a transaction with Merge will result, and the Amicas' board is not withholding, withdrawing, amending, qualifying or modifying its recommendation with respect to the Thoma Bravo Merger," the company said in a statement. Amicas rescheduled its special shareholder meeting to March 16 from March 4.

Shares of Merge fell 18 cents, or 8.4 percent, to $1.97 in midday trading. The stock has traded between $1.24 and $4.78 over the last 52 weeks.

Shares of Amicus added 12 cents, or 2 percent, to a new year high of $5.99. It has ranged from $1.57 to $5.91 over the past year.

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