Doubts over the delayed takeover of UK health-technology company EMIS Group Plc all but disappeared on Friday after the UK’s antitrust watchdog provisionally cleared the £1.24 billion ($1.6 billion) deal.
(Bloomberg) — Doubts over the delayed takeover of UK health-technology company EMIS Group Plc all but disappeared on Friday after the UK’s antitrust watchdog provisionally cleared the £1.24 billion ($1.6 billion) deal.
EMIS shares surged 25% to 1,908 pence in London trading, just below the 1,925 pence a share in cash that UnitedHealth Group Inc. offered for the company in June 2022.
The Competition and Markets Authority said Friday that an independent panel provisionally found the takeover doesn’t raise competition concerns. It had referred the deal to an in-depth investigation in March over concerns it could lead to higher prices for the UK’s National Health Service, which receives services from both EMIS and UnitedHealth unit Optum.
The provisional clearance “greatly increases the chances of success,” said Graham Simpson, head of Quest Research at Canaccord Genuity.
A final decision will be reached by Oct. 5, the CMA said.
EMIS is a supplier to NHS doctors’ surgeries across the UK, and holds a particularly strong market position in electronic patient records.
The company’s shareholder register includes merger arbitrage funds Sand Grove Capital Management LLP, Kite Lake Capital Management (UK) LLP, Samson Rock Capital LLP, and Trium Capital LLP, according to Bloomberg data.
“Most provisional findings do not change, and given how straightforward this approval appears, we wouldn’t expect it to change,” said Felix Lo, who manages global merger arbitrage fund Khartes at Trium Capital LLP.
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