United Surgical Partners (USPI) agreed to be acquired by an affiliate of buyout firm Welsh Carson for $31.05 a share in cash, or $1.38 billion.

The deal offers a 13% premium to Friday's closing stock price for Dallas-based United Surgical, a manager of short-stay surgical facilities.

The merger agreement allows USPI until Feb. 17 to actively solicit other possible bidders and, thereafter, subject to certain conditions, to respond to unsolicited inquiries by other persons interested in acquiring the company. Welsh Carson could get a fee of as much as $42.5 million if the deal is terminated.

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