(Reuters) — International Business Machine (NYSE:IBM) said it would buy Merge Healthcare (NSDQ:MRGE), which provides medical images and clinical systems, in a $1 billion deal and combine it with its Watson Health analytics unit.
Merge Healthcare shareholders will get $7.13 per share at a premium of 31.8% to yesterday’s close, the companies said.
Merge Healthcare shares were up 29.5% at $7 in early trading. IBM shares were little changed at $156.78.
The equity portion of the offer is valued at $713.1 million, according to Reuters calculations based on 100 million Merge Healthcare shares outstanding as of June 30.
IBM plans to combine data and images from Merge Healthcare’s medical imaging management platform with Watson computing platform’s image analytics.
Cloud-based Watson computing system analyzes high volumes of data, understands complex questions posed in natural language and proposes evidence-based answers.
The deal is IBM’s 3rd major health-related buy since launching its Watson Health unit in April.