iSoft, the troubled National Health Service (NHS) IT supplier is to face opposition to a proposed takeover bid by healthcare IT provider rival, IBA.
One of the lead IT contractors on the NHS’ £12bn National Programme for IT (NPfIT) transformation programme, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) has said it will look to block the deal, but has declined to give reasons why as yet.
The news came from the Australian firm, IBA, which confirmed it had received a letter from CSC saying it would oppose the £140 million offer it made nearly two weeks ago for the troubled clinical software supplier.
An IBA spokeswoman said it would be seeking clarification from CSC as to why it had taken this stance.
CSC and iSoft reached agreement between to guarantee some supply of Lorenzo care record software in October last year after the supplier ran into major financial difficulty. CSC expanded its role within the NPfIT programme last year taking over from Accenture, which gave up its work on two major parts of the project.
And analysts had predicted the consent of CSC would be key in any deal struck between iSoft and IBA.
iSoft is still under investigation by the financial services watchdog, the FSA and the Accountancy Investigation and Disciplinary Board as result of discrepancies revealed last year in its accounting practices, which led to it posting a £14.6 million loss.
The Australian firm first revealed it was interested in acquiring iSoft earlier this year. Ironically, iSoft partner, Torex – which is also currently mired in financial scandal after an expensive, two-year acquisition spree – used to be a distributor for rival, IBA in the UK before the two firms merged in 2003. At the time an Office of Fair Trading investigation instigated as a result of a complaint brought by IBA against the merger was rejected, allowing it to go ahead.