With little more than a week to go before its $248 million deal to acquire Amicas Inc. (NSDQ:AMCS) is slated to close, Merge Healthcare Inc. (NSDQ:MRGE) extended its tender offer for Amicas shares through April 23.
Through the end of trading on April 15, shareholders controlling a combined 89.8 percent of Amicas stock had tendered their shares — just under the 90 percent goal the two medical information and image management companies set for tying a bow on their proposed merger.
Boston-based Amicas on March 5 said it was accepting a $6.05-a-share buyout by Merge, spurring an earlier, $5.35-a-share bid by Thoma Bravo LLC, a private equity firm in Chicago. The deal with Merge is now scheduled to close April 28.
Even before trumping Thoma Bravo’s $218 million proposed buyout of Amicas, Merge was becoming an aggressive deal-maker, spending about $44 million during 2009 to by four other companies as well as striking a strategic accords with Merrick Healthcare Solutions Inc. as part of efforts to expand its competitive offerings.
Merrick — through its corporate parent, Merrick Ventures LLC — increasingly has taken a much more prominent role in Merge’s development. The Chicago-based holding company now owns a 37.8 percent stake in West Allis, Wisc.-based Merge, and concurrent with a $20 million investment, pressed for a June 2008 reorganization that took out four of Merge’s top managers, including its CEO, along with 60 other employees.
To finance the Amicas acquisition, Merge secured $200 million in debt funding through Morgan Stanley Senior Funding Inc. and earlier this month pulled in $41.75 million through the sale of common and preferred stock to private investors, including a $250,000 stake purchased by NorthPointe Capital LLC of Troy, Mich.
Merge has said it intends to issue 5-year notes as part of the debt offering but has not yet disclosed specific terms of the deal.