iSoft headquarters in Man 001

The woes of major National Health Service (NHS) IT programme supplier, iSoft continued as vultures began to circle the ailing healthcare software provider.

The Serious Fraud Office was thought to have threatened the company with investigation if it had not been able to restate its, already twice-delayed, accounts for the year ended 30 April 2006 by last Friday.

Although its shares recovered slightly from a fall of about 90 percent this year at last week’s news, retaining the UK NHS contract that it risked losing, the BBC today reported that two major IT giants were interested in acquiring the firm.

BT and US IT company, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) are two companies believed to be interested in launching a possible bid for the software firm.

CSC is one of the main contractors to the massive NHS IT upgrade project, which iSoft is also contracted to provide software to cover 60 per cent of country’s GP and hospital computers.

But neither company was available for comment on the rumours.

Accounting irregularities

Auditor Deloitte found that iSoft had included previous years revenues in its accounts before the cheques for the orders of work had been cashed.

It is being investigated for alleged accounting irregularities, and revealed it had made a £344m loss last year when it restated its accounts last Friday.

But this was followed by a sharp rise in the iSoft share price last Friday after it secured fresh bank financing to keep its current credit facilities. Its banks also added a £25-million credit facility to its existing loan.

“It's a boost of confidence and a signal that iSoft will likely survive,'' Stefan Slowinski, analyst at SG Cowen Securities, said in an interview with a leading newswire. But he did not predict if it would stay in its current, independent form.