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McKesson to buy Portico for $90M

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | June 22, 2011
Safeguard Scientifics, a holding company, said Tuesday that McKesson Corp. has agreed to buy partner company Portico Systems Inc. for $90 million in cash.

Wayne, Penn.-based Safeguard said it expects to net $38 million in the deal, a quadrupling of its investment in Portico. The deal, $5 million of which is contingent upon performance milestones, is set to close in the third quarter.

Blue Bell, Penn.-based Portico Systems, founded in 1997, makes information technology for health plans. McKesson, a San Francisco-based health IT powerhouse and the nation's biggest drug distributor, is ranked 14 on the Fortune 500.

Safeguard said it was the fourth partner sale in six months to a large multinational. In May, the company sold Advanced Healing to Shire plc for $750 million. In December, GE Healthcare bought Clarient for $587 million, and Eli Lilly and Company acquired Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, a developer of a PET agent to diagnose Alzheimer's disease, for $300 million, with $500 million in additional payments should certain milestones be achieved.

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