Reuters is reporting that at least five private equity firms have met with management at medical imaging software vendor Merge Healthcare, which in September announced it would explore strategic alternatives that could include a sale.

The equity firms, most of them well-known in the health information technology arena, are Thoma Bravo LLC, GTCR LLC, Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe, Francisco Partners, and Avista Capital Partners. Merge hoped to have offers in by Nov. 9, according to Reuters. None of the parties commented on the record to the news service.

Merge’s stock price has fallen about 37 percent during 2012. Much of that decline happened on May 8 after the company missed expectations for first quarter financial results, and announced a new business model that included subscription-based pricing and splitting the company into two operating units. But the stock hasn’t rebounded and the company during the first half of the year saw net losses more than double while revenue increased 14 percent.

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