Pharmaceutical distributor AmerisourceBergen Corp., Valley Forge, Pa., will purchase Bridge Medical, a Solana Beach, Calif.-based provider of bar-coding software, for approximately $27 million in stock.
The agreement announced last week also includes incentive payments of up to $55 million based on Bridge achieving unspecified earnings targets in 2003 and 2004. The company anticipates revenue of approximately $25 million in 2003.
Premier, which owns a 5% stake in Bridge, said it was not an active participant in developing the agreement and is awaiting formal notification as to what the deal means for the hospital alliance. Premier is implementing a new code of ethics that prohibits it from investing in companies under contract with its group purchasing division. Premier does not have a contract with Bridge, but it does have a distribution contract with AmerisourceBergen.
"We will evaluate our situation and make decisions concerning our holdings once those details are in hand," said Pat Poston, a Premier spokeswoman. "Our expectation is that our actions will be consistent with the best ethical standards we have committed to and any legal conditions such as (Securities and Exchange Commission) timing requirements for sales."
AmerisourceBergen officials said the acquisition would enhance its offerings in the pharmaceutical supply chain and noted that hospitals are already using Bridge's patient-safety technology to increase medication accuracy and improve operating efficiency. The deal is expected to close by year-end.