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Norwest Equity Partners Acquires Surgical Information Systems

January 7, 2011 News 3 Comments


Surgical Information Systems announced this morning that private equity firm Norwest Equity Partners has acquired the company from Vista Equity Partners, its owner for the past four years.

“By maintaining our focus on the financial engine of the hospital, SIS has achieved year-over-year growth that significantly exceeds industry averages. We have also enjoyed success in the perioperative area during some of the most challenging economic conditions in memory,” said SIS CEO Ed Daihl. “Demand for perioperative-specific information solutions is rapidly growing, particularly in anesthesia solutions, and our new partnership with NEP represents the continued evolution of the company.”

The 50-year-old Norwest Equity Partners, headquartered in Minneapolis, manages $4.6 billion in capital, focusing on building middle-market companies. Its major limited partner is Wells Fargo & Co. The firm’s other healthcare IT investment is communications vendor Amcom Software. According to the announcement, the SIS executive management team will remain in place.

SIS executives we spoke to said that hospitals are focusing on the perioperative area in preparation for healthcare reform and potentially declining reimbursement since it contributes up to 60% of hospital margins. That makes the OR and anesthesia business of SIS a highly attractive investment, they told us, with anesthesia alone having a 24% annual growth rate.

The Alpharetta, GA company’s growth has been organic, with new customers, exclusive industry endorsements, and expanded technology partnerships. Its perioperative software was recently certified as a modular EHR.

SIS customers were notified by an e-mail today from Ed Daihl, who described the acquisition as “a new phase of growth that will benefit you with the accelerated delivery of new, innovative software solutions that will support your efforts to optimize the delivery of perioperative services.”

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Currently there are "3 comments" on this Article:

  1. The first of many purchases of an HIT/health-related firm by private equity this year. One of the areas I expect private equity to be active buyers in this year.

  2. Let’s see a VC holds an investment for 4 yers, then realizes it can’t make big money on it so they dump it off on another smaller VC.

    Not a good sign for the future of this company because they will be going thru another round of slash and burn…cut support, R&D, cut, cut, and cut some more, got to wring some milk out of this old cow!

  3. VCs – corporate America in microcosm. No sense of mission or purpose, concern or even curiosity about products and users much less clients who they see as “stuck” with nowhere to go.

    Acquired companies are “properties”. Goals are transparent with predictable no brainer approach to skimming off money by neglecting investment in employees and solutions, RIFs below minimal level of support. HIT vendors only slightly better, projecting mostly ego and greed and marketing platitudes – neither have horizon beyond next quarter.

    How can good products and companies come of this? Real leaders see that greatness isn’t easy but can generate profits. M&A artists and their shallow “suits” add no value, just take their shekels without apparent shame and run on to the next.

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