Torex PLC has announced that it is to acquire Australian specialist health IT supplier HAS Solutions Pty Ltd. (HASS), a supplier of operating theatre and clinical trauma systems, for (AU) $28 million.

The deal follows the acquisition in August of the operating theatre management and anaesthesia systems business from Civica Plc. Torex itself is currently involved in a planned merger with iSOFT.

Founded in 1993, HASS provides integrated solutions for ambulance, A&E, operating theatre and key-hole surgery procedures. HASS systems’ include the ability to capture critical clinical information and transmit this directly from an ambulance to an Accident & Emergency department, enabling clinical staff to prepare the appropriate care for the incoming patient.

HASS is based in Sydney and is the market leader in the Australian market with over 120 hospitals using its products. In the last three years, it has also achieved significant sales in the UK and Canadian healthcare markets, with approximately 30 installations. Existing NHS customers include Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust and the Whittington Hospital NHS Trust.

Chris Moore, chairman of Torex, commented: “This acquisition provides Torex with access to new geographic markets and brings leading edge functionality into the UK Health market in support of the NHS Modernisation Programme in an area that will make a real difference to the quality and timeliness of Patient Care.

He added: “The HASS solution addresses a particular niche in the HCIT market and is expected to complement the product strategy in the event of a successful completion of our intended merger with iSOFT."

Torex will pay HASS an initial consideration of (AU) $2 million in cash on completion and the balance of the (AU) $28 million in cash or shares, at Torex’s discretion over a period until 31 December 2006, subject to targets being achieved.