Emdeon to be taken private by Blackstone for $2.2B

AP News
Posted: Aug 04, 2011 4:34 PM
Emdeon to be taken private by Blackstone for $2.2B

Health care payment technology company Emdeon Inc. has agreed to be taken private by The Blackstone Group for about $2.2 billion.

The deal disclosed Thursday would give Blackstone Capital Partners VI LP a controlling interest in Emdeon, but the announcement says shareholder Hellman & Friedman will keep a "significant" minority equity interest.

Under the terms of the deal, Emdeon shareholders will receive $19 per share in cash, a 17 percent premium over Wednesday's closing price of $16.25.

Emdeon's stock jumped $2.10, or 12.9 percent, to $18.35. The shares surged to a new 52-week high of $18.57 earlier in the session while the broader markets declined.

The Nashville, Tenn.-based company said in a May regulatory filing that it had 115.8 million shares outstanding. Emdeon and Blackstone value the deal at approximately $3 billion.

New York-based Blackstone manages a portfolio of real estate, hedge funds, private equity and related businesses. Among the companies that it has helped take private include arts and crafts retailer Michaels Stores Inc.

The Emdeon transaction has been unanimously approved by the company's board but still needs shareholder approval. Heller & Friedman and majority shareholder General Atlantic, which own about 70 percent of Emdeon's outstanding stock, have agreed to vote in favor of the deal.

Emdeon expects the acquisition will close before the end of the year.