Imaging service firms call off planned merger

September 11, 1991

Merrill Lynch and MTC Imaging, both of New York City, broke offtheir planned merger earlier this year when the gulf war madea public stock offering unattractive. Merrill Lynch had hopedto convert its imaging center partnership into a public companyprior

Merrill Lynch and MTC Imaging, both of New York City, broke offtheir planned merger earlier this year when the gulf war madea public stock offering unattractive. Merrill Lynch had hopedto convert its imaging center partnership into a public companyprior to combining with MTC, another medical imaging servicesfirm (SCAN 11/7/90).

"The equity markets went dead on us. As a result, we hadto release MTC from the (acquisition) contract," said HenryF. Keller, president and CEO of the imaging sciences divisionof Merrill Lynch.

Both firms are now talking separately with potential investors.The release last month of final safe harbor regulations on referring-physicianownership of medical centers appears to have made both operationsmore attractive. Neither company relies heavily on physician partnerships.

"We have never done a limited partnership venture,"said Alan Rubenstein, president and sole owner of MTC Imaging."We are well positioned to acquire limited partnership intereststhat may want to reposition themselves in view of the regulations."

Only one Merrill Lynch center has physician ownership, Kellersaid.

"The safe harbors may enhance Merrill Lynch's (medicalimaging) properties," he told SCAN. "We are very clean.We should be able to compete better in areas where other centershave referring-physician investors."

BRIEFLY NOTED:

  • Elscint continued its strong financial turnaround in thesecond quarter of fiscal 1991 (end-June). The dedicated medicalimaging vendor saw revenue for the quarter jump 16%, from $38.8million in 1990 to $45 million this year. Net income totaled $3.5million for the second quarter of 1991, up 25% from $2.8 millionin the same period last year (see graph).

  • Center firm NMR of America engaged securities firm Advestlast month to provide investment banking and financial advisoryservices. Advest will help the Morristown, NJ, company developfinancial structures for future centers and assist in center acquisitions,said Joseph G. Dasti, president and CEO.