Acute care telemedicine firm SOC Telemed has signed a definitive agreement to merge with Healthcare Merger (HCMC), a special purpose acquisition company.

The deal is said to imply an initial enterprise value for SOC Telemed of around $720m. The combined company will run as SOC Telemed.

SOC acute telemedicine solutions are primarily used by hospitals as well as onsite care teams to deliver specialty care. The company’s solution includes software platform, a consult coordination experts panel and a clinical specialists network.

The company offers services to 847 facilities, including 543 acute care hospitals across 47 states. It provides acute teleNeurology and telePsychiatry.

SOC Telemed interim CEO Paul Ricci said: “This business combination strengthens SOC Telemed and will allow it to further penetrate the broad and fast-growing acute telemedicine market.

” As hospital leaders struggle with the problems of acute capacity management, physician scarcity and cost optimisation, it has become clear that virtual care will continue to be a critical component of the healthcare industry’s ability to deliver better care to patients.”

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The merger will enable the company to capitalise on opportunities to expand, grow and benefit from the expedited use of telemedicine due to Covid-19, said HCMC CEO Steve Shulman.

At the completion of the deal, Ricci will step down as interim CEO while Shulman will become the SOC Telemed board of directors chairman.

BlackRock, Baron Capital Group and ClearBridge Investments, among other investors, have committed to make a private investment of $165m in common stock of the combined company.

This private investment is set to close simultaneously with the business combination, which is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of this year.