CompuGroup has announced its takeover of hospital information systems supplier, Dahm Aktiengesellschaft, better known as Fliegel.

The deal gives CompuGroup a long looked for presence in the German hospital information systems (HIS) market. The deal marks the latest phase in the consolidation of the European and German health IT market.

Dahm/Fliegel, is a medium-sized HIS vendor in the German market. The price paid by CompuGroup for the acquisition was not disclosed.

With its flagship product, the HIS “fd klinika”, Dahm/Fliegel has around 200 German hospitals and nursing homes as customers. In addition, approximately 30 laboratories also use Dahm/Fliegel software.

Fliegel and its employees will be integrated into the CompuGroup subsidiary Systema, the HIS-market leader in Austria with strong ties to SAP

The new Systema, with around 400 hospital customers in total, will be led jointly by Frank Becher from CompuGroup and by Wolrad Rube, the former head of Dahm/Fliegel.

Although the amount of money that CompuGroup paid for Dahm/Fliegel was not disclosed, it is known that, like other middle-sized HIS vendors, Dahm/Fliegel has experienced difficulties growing market share in recent years.

The latest annual balance sheet for 2006 shows decreasing revenues. The company narrowly broke even. The turnover of the mother company Systema will double after the takeover, but again detailed numbers were not disclosed.

“For CompuGroup, this takeover means that we fill a gap in Germany where we have not been engaged in the HIS business so far”, said Becher in an exclusive interview with E-Health Europe. This gap became increasingly apparent for CompuGroup, since Germany is the company’s home market.

In addition, the number of attractive potential candidates for takeover has decreased sharply in the last few years as the market has continued to consolidate.

After the failed iSoft takeover in summer 2007, CompuGroup’s CEO Frank Gotthardt faced a limited number of options to break into the German HIS-market.

Becher told EHE: “Now that we have taken over Fliegel, the two remaining independent middle-sized HIS companies are Meierhofer and Nexus.”

This suggests how CompuGroup’s strategy may proceed: Gotthardt has announced at the end of last year that he would like CompuGroup to be number three in the German HIS-market – right behind Agfa Healthcare and Siemens Medical, which both have in excess of 600 hospital customers in Germany. To reach this goal, another takeover would probably be necessary. Meierhofer or Nexus may be next in CompuGroup’s sights.

When talking to EHE, Becher made it clear that the Fliegel-HIS “fd klinika” will continue to be developed further and not be replaced by existing Systema-HIS-solutions. “To create synergies, we will harmonise individual software modules, but not the complete HIS.”

Such synergies are possible in the field of medical databases, where the CompuGroup subsidiary ifap is already active.

Web-based referral solutions will also be standardised for the different CompuGroup-HIS, not only in Germany but also in Poland, Turkey, Austria and the Czech Republic. Finally, solutions for materials and logistics will be fused, with the CompuGroup subsidiary Aescudata as the company in charge.