EMIS takes over Ascribe for £57.5m
13 September 2013
EMIS Group plc, the UK's leading software provider for GP practices,
has bought pharmacy systems supplier Ascribe from private equity
Ascribe was taken private by ECI from the AIM market in
January 2009 in a £33m public-to-private-transaction. Today’s deal
provides an initial consideration of £57.5m with further monies due
contingent on short term performance.
Over 70% of NHS Trusts in the UK, as well as healthcare providers
in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand, use Ascribe
solutions whose products include eprescribing, pharmacy, mental
health, patient administration and A&E systems.
As a public company, Ascribe undertook a series of acquisitions
enabling it to become a strategically important player in the
provision of clinical software solutions within the secondary care
market, both in the UK and in certain international markets.
Following the completion of the P2P transaction it has integrated
these acquisitions from both an operational and technological
EMIS Group, which has annual revenue of £24m, has placed 4.4m
shares in its capital to raise £26.3m to fund part of the
acquisition. Further payments up to £3.0m may be made to ACI in one
year dependent on certain targets being achieved.
Chris Spencer, Chief Executive Officer of EMIS Group, said,
“The acquisition of Ascribe represents a significant milestone in
our stated strategy of providing clinically led, integrated,
cross-organisational healthcare systems, and represents a rare
opportunity to acquire multiple significant positions in an adjacent
but not overlapping market.
“We believe that there are significant growth prospects for the
combined business which will be uniquely placed to address market
challenges, allowing us to directly target the Acute, Specialist
Care, Pharmacy, Children and Community Care and the Mental Health
markets, thereby facilitating the UK’s strategy of integrated
David Ewing, Managing Partner at ECI Partners, said: “We
completed the £33m P2P in 2009 with a clear view that the post-NPfIT
(NHS National Programme for IT) the healthcare IT market would be
focussed on interoperable best-of-breed software. As such, Ascribe’s
strategy was to invest heavily in software development to take
advantage of this forecast market change. This has enabled Ascribe
to deliver strong growth in software sales and orders as the market
story has unfolded”.
“Today’s sale represents another successful transaction for ECI,
and marks our third exit in as many months which included the sale
of CliniSys, the European market leading provider of software
solutions to clinical laboratories. It further highlights our strong
track record in creating and growing international market leading
businesses in the TMT and healthcare sectors”.
Ascribe’s Chief Executive, Stephen Critchlow, said: “ECI have
provided us with the support and guidance to help us grow our
business in the UK and also to expand overseas. We look forward to
working with EMIS to identify new markets and consolidate our
position as a leading provider of healthcare IT”.