Emis has clear vision for diabetes sufferers

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A YORKSHIRE-based software firm is preventing diabetes sufferers from going blind.

Emis Group has bought Medical Imaging (UK) and MIDRSS, which provides diabetic eye screening and ophthalmology imaging to the NHS in England. Medical Imaging also has a growing presence in Ireland’s national health service, the HSE.

In a statement, Leeds-based Emis said the acquisition was in line with the group’s strategy of providing “cross-organisational” healthcare systems. Emis completed the £3.1m purchase of Digital Healthcare, an eyesight screening company, in August 2013.

Emis said: “The acquisition (of Medical Imaging UK) provides the group with an opportunity to further support the NHS and patients, through the delivery of services in an area closely aligned to its existing software systems.”

Medical Imaging, which is based in Worcester, reported profit before tax of approximately £1.3m on revenue of £6.3m for the year ended April 30, 2014.

Chris Spencer, the chief executive of Emis Group, said: “I am delighted to welcome Medical Imaging to Emis Group. It enhances our already strong position in diabetic eye screening, achieved through the 2013 acquisition of Digital Healthcare. This is a growing niche market.

“We expect the acquisition to be not only earnings enhancing in 2015, but also to help prevent blindness in the increasing number of people suffering from diabetes.”

The acquisition of Medical Imaging, which has around 180 staff, increases the Emis Group’s employee numbers to around 1,800.

Mr Spencer said he would not be making a “snap decision” about whether Medical Imaging would keep its name following the acquisition.

The purchase consideration is £6.5m in cash, which is in addition to £500,000 deferred until December 2015.

Up to £2.5m of “additional consideration” is payable in cash on the attainment of performance targets for the 2016 financial year, the statement added.

Emis Group is the leading provider of healthcare software to GPs.

It supplies more than half of all practices in England and Wales, and it is also a major software supplier to high street pharmacies.

It expanded its reach in secondary care last year with the £60m acquisition of Ascribe, the leading supplier of software to the NHS acute market. The company has developed software to help clinicians share vital information, which aligns with Government ambitions for the NHS to embrace the technology revolution.

The Government wants the NHS to go paperless by 2018 to save billions of pounds, improve services and help meet the challenges of caring for an ageing population.

Martin Sweeney and Steven Millward from law firm Schofield Sweeney’s corporate team advised the Emis Group in connection with the acquisition of Medical Imaging UK.