iSoft in sale talks after UK health debacle

Problems surrounding iSoft's contract with Britain's National Health Service mean revenues will fall by up to 15%

Health IT software provider iSoft says it is in discussions with several parties over the possible sale of the firm. At the same time, it disclosed that problems surrounding its key contract with Britain’s National Health Service mean full-year revenues will fall by up to 15%.

The company says it has been approached by financial investors and other firms with healthcare interests who either want to acquire the entire company, take a large stake, or create a strategic alliance.

iSoft is one of the two major providers of patient management software to the New Zealand health sector and has 18 of the 21 district health boards as clients.

UK-based chairman John Weston told last week’s annual general meeting, held in Manchester, that the company needed to secure long-term finance after a disastrous year.

“Recent events, including delays in delivering to the National Health Service’s Connecting for Health programme, and media and market comment on a number of issues have had a negative impact on new business revenues,” he told the meeting.

iSoft’s board has received expressions of interest from a number of investor groups and healthcare players, he says.

“We have concluded that shareholders’ interest are best served by opening discussions with some of these to determine the [best way] forward.”

Shares in iSoft have fallen in value by as much as 90% over the past year.

Earlier this year, the company wrote to all its clients in Australia and New Zealand to reassure them about the business’s viability.

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