Thoma Bravo, Francisco, THL final suitors for Merge-sources

NEW YORK Wed Dec 5, 2012 3:06pm EST

NEW YORK Dec 5 (Reuters) - Private equity firms vying for Merge Healthcare Inc are waiting for a decision from the company after the provider of medical imaging software solutions sought revised takeover offers last week, three people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Chicago, Illinois-based Merge asked the few buyout firms that remained in the auction - Thoma Bravo LLC, Thomas H. Lee Partners LP and Francisco Partners - to resubmit final bids by Nov. 29, the people said.

Some of the bidders believe that Merge is fully valued at its current stock price at around $3 per share and any deal would not offer much upside over the current trading level, the people said.

The request to "refresh" bids was seen by some private equity suitors as a sign that the auction has lost momentum and Merge may struggle to get an offer that meets its price expectations, two of the people said, requesting anonymity because details of the process are private.

Merge declined to comment. Representatives of Thoma Bravo, Thomas H. Lee and Francisco also declined to comment.