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Medical services firm announces a pact in shareholder lawsuits

American Medical Alert Corp.

American Medical Alert Corp. Credit: Handout

American Medical Alert Corp., of Oceanside, has signed a memorandum of understanding as a first step to settling shareholder suits in its proposed $82 million sale to a British company.

American Medical, a provider of health care call centers and remote monitoring systems for elderly patients at home, said Tuesday that the memo will allow it to proceed with the sale to Tunstall Healthcare Group Limited, of Goole, in Yorkshire, England. The sale was first announced Sept. 22.

The Oceanside company's stock closed Tuesday at $8.54, up 39 percent for the year. There was no movement in in the share price in pre-market trading Wednesday.

The memorandum "reflects the parties’ agreement to resolve the allegations by the settling plaintiffs against AMAC and other defendants in connection with the merger agreement," American Medical said in a statement. The memo will require court approvals.

American Medical added that it continues to believe that the lawsuits, filed by at least 10 firms, are without merit.

Tunstall agreed to pay $8.55 a share, a 50 percent premium over the stock's $5.69 closing price for the stock at the time of the announcement.

American Medical then listed its outstanding shares at 9.62 million, making the sale price in the neighborhood of $82 million.

About a third of shares were owned by company executives and directors, while about 17 percent were held by institutional investors, at the time of the merger announcement.

Tunstall, which operates in 30 countries, said the purchase was part of its strategy of expanding its reach throughout the U.S. American Medical, with a workforce of about 500, did not say whether the transaction would result in an expansion or reduction in the Oceanside company's presence on Long Island, or in the company's offices in Long Island City, Queens.

Tunstall is a provider of "telehealth and telecare" services, similar to those of American Medical Alert. It has 2.5 million clients worldwide with a workforce of more than 1,200. Tunstall's corporate headquarters is in Goole, in Yorkshire, England.

American Medical Alert operates a round-the-clock medical-alert call center, and provides networks of remote health monitoring devices. Its products and services include stationary and mobile personal emergency response systems, and medication management.

As a separate business division, American Medical Alert offers "concierge level communication services to all types of healthcare entities, including physician groups, hospitals, homecare and the pharmaceutical industry," the company said.

Photo: One of American Medical Alert's home systems.

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