Medical imaging software vendor Merge Healthcare has retained investment bank Allen & Company to explore strategic alternatives “including, but not limited to, a sale of the company or a business combination,” according to the firm.

The stock price rose 9 percent in heavy early trading on Sept. 6 following the announcement, and the company will not comment further at this time. The announcement comes three weeks after Merge announced its new subscription-based revenue model is gaining traction among clients. In late July, the firm released second quarter financial results showing a 13 percent increase in revenue but a $5.9 million net loss, compared with a $1.7 million loss during the same period in 2011. During the first half of 2012, Merge’s revenue increased more than 14 percent to $123.9 million, but net losses more than doubled to $7.7 million.

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