Queen of shoes Inga at HISTalk got ahead of the news (she tweeted about 2 hours before the announcement—not sure if that led to the news being moved up—but the Eclipsys stock showed no sign of word getting out in advance and the website they’ve put up looks very thrown together!). Inga also has the best summary.
The deal is that Allscripts is going to buy out Misys (which owned a majority stake following Allscripts buying the former Medic practice management system but was always trying to get out of the US HIT business) at about it’s rough current market price, and pay it a spiff on top of over $117m. I’m up with insomnia, so the US market isn’t open and we can’t know how it’ll like it. But the UK is open and Misys is trading 20% higher. So my guess is that Allscripts will take a hit for that. Meanwhile it’s paying about a 20% premium for Eclipsys. In the end Eclipsys shareholders will have 37% of the combined entity, Misys will keep a chunk of about 10% that Allscripts can buy out post closing. Allscripts CEO Glen Tullman will stay CEO, and Eclipsys’ CEO Phil Pead will be Chairman with a list of tasks that suggests that he’ll have more time on the golf course than Glen.
Does it make sense? Other than the financial deal, this is a moderate size bet from Allscripts, which is about double the market cap of Eclipsys. The bet is that there are enough hospitals who (like it’s star client North Shore-Long Island Jewish) will buy both an inpatient system and an integrated outpatient system for their affiliated physicians. They claim that it’s about 35% of the market.
But that remains to be seen. Most of the hospitals who are big enough to be “hubs” have already made a bet on an inpatient vendor, and in general that hasn’t been Eclipsys. (Calling them a “leader” in hospital IT is somewhat redefining the term) Whether enough of them are reconsidering their whole approach I doubt. But on the other hand Allscripts has shown that it can integrate diverse product lines with several of its acquisitions and make good business decisions about it (although not always thrilling customers who thought they were buying an ongoing product). And Eclipsys is profitable, so the downside risk doesn’t seem too high.
I guess the only real question is raised in a separate NY Times article yesterday which suggested that meaningful use criteria were so impossible that no one could possibly get the government’s money. Of course the expectation that EMR use will dramatically grow is the main justification behind Allscripts’ merger driven growth the last few years.
BTW checkout slide 21 on the slide deck of the announcement. Glen still can’t resist taking a crack at a certain CEO in Madison, Wisconsin.
Categories: Matthew Holt