iSoft sells iBS arm to Capita

Steve Dinneen
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Debt-laden healthcare IT firm iSoft yesterday offloaded its financial management solutions arm to outsourcing group Capita.

It sold iSoft Business Solutions (iBS) to Capita for £23.2m after it was earmarked as “non-core”. Last year the division generated revenue of £17.7m, and £5.8m in earnings.

The firm behind the £6.2bn upgrade of the NHS computer systems – one of the world’s largest IT projects – was rocked by a series of scandals involving making misleading statements to the market between 2003 and 2005, ending with its former accountant Ian Storey being banned for eight years.

Problems with the NHS IT programme have also hit the firm, sending its share price tumbling a staggering 90 per cent this year alone.

The firm, which was bought by Australia’s IBA Health in 2007, is desperate to repair its dented reputation and claw itself back into the black. Its debt pile stands at around £150m, although some of the proceeds of the sale will go towards paying this down.

Storey accepted he had provided “false and misleading” information to iSoft’s former auditors in relation to an iSoft contract.

Chief executive Andrea Fiumicelli said: “While iBS is a profitable business, its key products, Oracle’s e-business suite and Integra financial accounting solutions, have little overlap with iSoft’s proprietary core patient-focused healthcare IT business. Given this, and our strong desire to reduce debt, the divestment was deemed appropriate and in line with our strategy of focusing on core patient-specific healthcare products going forward.”