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Telstra tops $100 million in healthcare investments

Telstra (ASX: TLS) announced today that it has acquired a 50% stake in Fred IT Group, one of Australia’s top health care IT companies. Although Telstra’s official press release didn’t disclose any financial details of the transaction, the Australia Financial Review noted that market sources priced the deal at approximately $25 million.

This isn’t Telstra’s first foray into health care technology, and the company is quickly working to make a name for itself in the $120 billion per year health care market. Shane Solomon, Telstra’s head of health, said in a statement that he and his company “are excited by the opportunities this investment presents and we will work with the Fred IT Group to build on the great foundations they have established.”

Telstra previously acquired health care software company DCA eHealth Solutions, health record company IPhealth, and appointment booking company Health Engine. Fred IT’s focus rounds out Telstra’s expertise in electronic prescription exchanges via cloud computing.

Foolish takeaway

A telecom company headed into health care should be enough to set “diworsification” alarm bells off in any investor’s head. But don’t sell so soon. Technology is a pervasive tool, and Telstra seems to be harnessing its skills to complement its steady entry into the lucrative health care market. With around $100 million already invested in health care technology market, Telstra is slowly but surely building itself a formidable force.

Every Aussie investor knows Telstra, but recent developments like its new Health division have kept investors guessing: Should you buy, sell or hold Telstra shares in our brand-new report, written by a top Motley Fool analyst. It’s free, click here for your instant download!

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Motley Fool contributor Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned in this article. You can follow him on Twitter @TMFJLo.

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