GHX goes into private-equity ownership with Thoma Bravo

Procurement-automation platform could grow beyond its hospital-products roots

Calling it "one of the most significant companies in healthcare today," Thoma Bravo, a San Francisco private-equity firm, has completed its acquisition of GHX, also known as Global Healthcare Exchange, for an undisclosed sum. GHX (Louisville, CO) has an unusual pedigree: it was founded in 2000 by five major medical-products companies, during the first wave of Internet activity around e-commerce. Its membership has grown to 20 corporate shareholders, including the Big Three wholesalers and many of the top pharma and device firms.

GHX functions as a collaborative clearinghouse between hospital or GPO buyers and med-surg and other suppliers. It digitizes and stores contract details and expedites order processing for both sides of a transaction. They company claims to have cut over $4 billion out of supply chain costs for healthcare providers in the past four years.

For the past couple years, GHX has also tried to build a critical mass among pharma manufacturers and their trading partners to become a central data pool for serialized track-and-trace data, now mandated (under a 10-year implementation schedule) by the Drug Quality and Security Act. This might be one of the potential growth areas for GHX where access to Thoma Bravo capital will enable the company "to make healthcare a more efficient and automated industry," as Bruce Johnson, GHX CEO, said in a statement.