Ebix Inc. said Wednesday it is offering to buy insurance technology software company Patriot National Inc. for $9.50 a share. Ebix, which provides on-demand software and e-commerce services to the insurance, financial and healthcare industries, said the offer is equal to a 37% premium over Patriot's closing price on Tuesday. Ebix plans to finance the deal with a mixture of cash and stock and expects it to immediately boost earnings per share. "The merged entity would become the world's largest provider of straight through processing in the insurance services industry, offering on-demand based front end systems, back end systems, exchanges, strategic consulting and risk compliance services all under one roof," the company said in a statement. Ebix has postponed a planned 3-for-1 stock split and related special shareholder meetings until further notice. Patriot shares surged 30% in premarket trade on the news.
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