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Durham's Bloodhound bought for $82 million

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A Durham technology company that helps health insurers cut claims costs has been sold for $82 million in cash.

Bloodhound Technologies was acquired by Verisk Analytics, a publicly traded New Jersey company that supplies actuarial data to insurers and mortgage lenders. Since Verisk went public in 2009, it's been expanding by buying smaller firms with promising products.

Bloodhound's system for spotting fraud in claims-processing data is valuable because the health industry is racing to reduce expenses, said Steve Nelson, a partner with the Wakefield Group, one of the company's early venture-capital investors.

"Health-care IT is certainly a hot space right now in the wake of the federal health reform," Nelson said.

Officials with Verisk and Bloodhound weren't immediately available for comment. Gary Twigg, Bloodhound's CEO since 2002, said in a prepared statement that "we are delighted to join Verisk."

The deal is the latest sign that merger activity, which is picking up as the economy recovers, is increasing interest in small tech companies based in this region.

Last May, Cary-based Medfusion agreed to be bought by Intuit for $91 million. And in November, Durham's Modality was bought for $13.8 million by Epocrates.

Founded in 1997, Bloodhound raised millions in venture capital during the dot-com boom. It reached a point earlier this decade where it was making enough money to support itself.

The Verisk deal announced Wednesday is a payday for Bloodhound's backers, including several venture-capital firms with Triangle ties: Wakefield, Noro-Moseley Partners and Pappas Ventures.

"They've built themselves a nice business, which gives you options, including acquisition opportunities," Nelson said. "It also shows you something about the value of patience. It worked out really well."

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About the blogger

Assistant Business Editor Alan M. Wolf joined the N&O in 1999 covering the business of health care. He became an editor in 2001, and helps oversee the paper's daily business coverage and Sunday Work&Money section. He lives in Clayton with his wife and two children. Reach him at 919-829-4572 or e-mail him.