Sage buys into healthcare market

Sage acquires Emdeon for $565 million

U.K. business management software developer Sage Group agreed to buy Emdeon Practice Services, a maker of software for doctors' offices, for $565 million, Sage said on Tuesday.

Sage made the acquisition in order to target healthcare providers. Sage already offers industry-specific products to businesses in real estate, construction, manufacturing, distribution, and the nonprofit sector.

Emdeon will be the basis for a new doctors' practice division at Sage and will be part of Sage's North American operations.

Emdeon, a unit of Emdeon, currently has 20,000 small to medium-size business customers. Its software can be used for administrative purposes, such as appointment scheduling and billing, as well as the creation and management of electronic health records.

Sage expects that the market for doctors' practice management software will grow significantly and plans to cross-sell Sage accounts software with Emdeon products. Sage currently has 7,000 doctors' offices as customers in the U.S.

The acquisition, Sage's largest in North America, is expected to close in September.

Sage made another investment aimed at deepening its industry-specific expertise in July with the acquisition of a majority stake in Elit Group, a French company that makes business process management software for the transportation and food industries. Sage also recently acquired Baurer, a German business management software developer in an effort to target the German market.