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Vista Equity Partners Buys Sage Healthcare Unit

Vista Equity Partners is paying $320 million to buy the healthcare unit of British software company Sage, Reuters reported. Sage will return all of the proceeds to shareholders through a share buyback program.

(Reuters) Sage is to sell its healthcare unit to Vista Equity Partners for $320 million, enabling the British software firm to focus on its core U.S. customer base and to return the proceeds to shareholders.

Sage, which will return all of the proceeds through a share buyback programme, said on Thursday it had reached a definitive agreement to sell the subsidiary which is used by U.S. physician practices. It expects the sale to be completed in November 2011.

“The sale of Sage Healthcare allows management in the North American region to focus on the considerable opportunities that exist within our core US customer base,” Chief Executive Guy Berruyer said.

“We are also announcing a share buyback programme with the proceeds of the sale, reflecting our commitment to delivering shareholder value.”

Sage Healthcare’s revenue for the year ended 30 September, 2010 was 157 million pounds. Gross assets were 393 million pounds and the overall loss on the disposal is expected to be between 60 million and 70 million pounds.

(Reporting by Kate Holton)