NDCHealth, Atlanta, a giant in pharmacy-data transmission and financial services to providers, agreed to be broken up and sold to Per-Se Technologies, Alpharetta, Ga., and publisher Wolters Kluwer of the Netherlands. Per-Se, a business services and information technology company, will buy NDCHealth's provider and retail pharmacy businesses for $664 million in stock and cash. NCDHealth provides financial systems and services to 1,800 hospitals; practice-management systems to an estimated 100,000 office-based physicians; and data transmission to about 50,000 pharmacies. "Both companies are focused on improving the revenue cycle for healthcare providers, so we see the opportunities to integrate (the businesses) to be a key value proposition," said Philip Pead, Per-Se's chairman, president and chief executive officer. Wolters Kluwer will acquire NDCHealth's data-mining service for drug companies for $382 million in cash. The deals require shareholder and regulatory approval.
NDCHealth in recent years has grappled with its use of value-added resellers. The company delayed its April 2004 financial report because of inconsistencies in inventory and subsequently changed how it handled its resale network, Pead said. NDCHealth had a net loss of $6.6 million, or 18 cents per share, on revenue of $387.6 million in its fiscal year ended May 27, 2005. Per-Se earned net income of $44.8 million, or $1.46 per share, on revenue of $353 million in 2004. -- by Joseph Conn