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Rishi Shah talks about his billion-dollar deal./Photo courtesy Steve Becker photography 0

How a Chicago start-up came to buy its fierce competitor

November 20th, 2016

There’s a back story to Rishi Shah’s ContextMedia acquiring AccentHealth, which is produced by CNN’s medical team and hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

In 2010, it was Tampa, Fla.-based AccentHealth that came calling to buy the Chicago company.

“We had just gotten into business. We were just a few years into it when they approached us,” recalled Shah, who had dropped out of college to start the company that produces health-related videos for hospitals and health systems nationwide.

Shah’s answer was “no way” as the company was committed to staying independent.

The two companies were fierce competitors until last week, when the tables turned and ContextMedia acquired AccentHealth. Terms of the agreement weren’t released but it was an all-cash deal and in a related financing ContextMedia has raised more than $500 million in credit this year with financing from J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Citizens Bank.

“Now we’ll have the largest content library of health video in the world,” says Shah. “We’re excited about that.”

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