Two leading healthcare data companies, St. Anthony Publishing and the Center for Healthcare Industry Performance Studies, last week agreed to merge into an organization with about $40 million in annual revenues.
The deal could lead to an initial public offering by the newly merged firm that would capitalize on the stock market success of its chief rival, HCIA.
HCIA, a Baltimore-based healthcare information company, has been especially successful on Wall Street. Last week, its stock was trading at $53 a share, a nearly 300% gain from last year at this time.
Eugene Lorenz, St. Anthony's chairman and chief executive officer, said company officials hope to decide on an offering "in the next 30 days or so."
In the meantime, the company is on an acquisition binge. He said it will complete another acquisition in about six weeks, and another merger announcement will follow within two months after that.
Reston, Va.-based St. Anthony, founded in 1986, has built its reputation on publishing clinical coding information for hospitals. Its publications have an annual circulation of about 400,000.
The Center for Healthcare Industry Performance Studies, known as CHIPS, originally was a partnership of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and Ohio State University, Columbus. In 1992, the business was bought by William O. Cleverley, who's on the faculty of Ohio State, and Roger K. Harvey, an Ohio State professor emeritus. Both men founded CHIPS in 1985, and the business built its reputation on providing customized data products and benchmarking information.
The merger of St. Anthony and CHIPS will be a pooling of interests, and the companies' boards will determine the name and structure of a holding company for both organizations. CHIPS operations will remain in Columbus.