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Synetic's e-commerce unit plans IPO

The healthcare company says CareInsite, its electronic commerce subsidiary, has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public.

Healthcare company Synetic today announced that CareInsite, its electronic commerce subsidiary, has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public.

CareInsite hopes to provide an Internet-based healthcare electronic commerce network for interactive use by physicians, payers, suppliers, and patients.

The company is hoping to raise as much as $62 million through an initial public offering of its common stock. Proceeds from the sale will be used for working capital and general corporate purposes as well as possible acquisitions.

IPO of companies with any e-commerce component have burst their seams on the first day of trading nearly across the board in recent months, and analysts are still waiting for investors to show signs of disinterest because of the glut of Internet IPOs.

The timing and completion of the IPO will depend on any delays or adverse results from an ongoing litigation involving Merck & Company.

The litigation involves assertions by the plaintiffs that Synetic, CareInsite, and the other individual defendants are in violation of certain noncompetition, nonsolicitation, and other agreements with Merck and Merck-Medco. They are seeking to enjoin Synetic and CareInsite from conducting its healthcare e-commerce business and from soliciting Merck-Medco's customers.

Merrill Lynch will be a managing underwriter of the offering.