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Goldman Sachs strikes deal to buy Ebix

ATLANTA (AP) -- Goldman Sachs & Co. plans to buy Ebix Inc. and take it private in an $820 million deal that includes debt, the insurance technology provider said Wednesday.

Ebix, based in Atlanta, provides software and e-commerce services to the insurance industry. Its board accepted the Goldman Sachs offer. The deal still needs shareholder approval but is expected to close in the third quarter.

Shareholders will receive $20 per share, a 7 percent premium on Ebix's closing price Tuesday and an 18 percent premium on its average daily closing price over the preceding 30 days.

Robin Raina and the Rennes Fondation, which together own about 19 percent of Ebix common shares, reached a separate agreement to vote in favor of the deal. Both will continue to be investors in Ebix.

The agreement includes a provision that allows Ebix to solicit alternative proposals over the next 45 days.

Ebix shares rose $1.80, or 9.7 percent, to $20.41.