iSoft the UK based healthcare solutions specialist, has bought leading Spanish healthcare IT provider, Novasoft Sanidad, in an agreement structured to cost up to £10.6m (€15.6m).

The acquisition covers 100% of Novasoft and will involve paying an initial £6.1m (€9 million) in cash and 470,119 iSoft ordinary shares. iSoft’s announcement says a further consideration of up to £1.2m (€1.8m) and 1.8m shares maybe paid if financial performance targets are met in the period ending 28 February 2006. £2.6m (€3.9m) of indebtedness is assumed.

The deal, iSoft’s first in Spain, was described to E-Health Insider by finance director, Gavin James as “another step for iSoft in its international development in a market that’s under reform.”

He said: “They have a health information systems covering both primary and acute care – a reasonably broad range fitting into a similar range as us.”

Novasoft’s installed base covers 12% of the Spanish healthcare market and the firm has 175 staff, 150 of whom are described as “technical”.

James said the Spanish health system was undergoing reform which required IT modernisation. A national exercise started in 2002 when Spain gave autonomy to the regions, but set out what those regions needed to do to work in an integrated fashion.

Madrid is the first region to go out to tender and James commented: “We shall certainly be interested in that.”

iSoft chief executive, Tim Whiston, commented: “The combination of iSOFT’s international application development credentials and the Novasoft’s local market presence positions us well in the Spanish healthcare economy that is at the start of a significant period of healthcare service reform and associated technology investment.”