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Blackstone to take Emdeon private for $3 billion

(Reuters) - Healthcare IT provider Emdeon Inc said it agreed to be taken private for $3 billion by private equity firm Blackstone.

The deal, which offers $19.00 per Emdeon share, represents a 17 percent premium to Emdeon's Wednesday close of $16.25 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Shares of Nashville, Tennessee-based Emdeon, rose 14 percent to $18.57, just shy of Blackstone's offer on Thursday morning.

Blackstone's offer, which was approved by Emdeon's board, is backed by committed financing from Banc of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital and Citigroup.

Two of Emdeon's stockholders -- General Atlantic and Hellman & Friedman -- have agreed to vote in favor of the deal.

Together, both stockholders own about 70 percent of Emdeon's outstanding shares. (Reporting by Vidya L Nathan in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)