CVS Caremark to buy Blackstone-backed Apria’s infusion business for $2.1 bln

• Blackstone-backed company to sell unit

• Deal expected to add $1.4 bln to CVS revenues

• Deal to close in Q1


Apria is a portfolio company of private equity firm Blackstone Group LP.ap

CVS, which operates the No. 2 U.S. drugstore chain and the second-largest pharmacy benefits management (PBM) business, said Coram’s infusion operations will help it provide cost-effective services to its clients.

Infusion therapy involves administering medication through a needle or catheter when a patient’s condition is too severe to be treated effectively by oral medications. Coram provides these services primarily at patients’ homes.

While infused therapies can be administered in hospitals, physician’s offices and infusion centers, CVS said its analysis found that providing the services at patients’ homes or in ambulatory settings are by far the most cost-effective.

Denver, Colorado-based Coram, which has about 4,500 employees, also provides specialty pharmaceuticals, drug delivery and clinical management services for chronic or rare conditions to patients and physician offices.

“Our comprehensive services will enable us to streamline care management for patients as well as their physicians, leading to better health outcomes while avoiding unnecessary costs,” said Jon Roberts, president of CVS Caremark Pharmacy Services.

CVS, whose Caremark PBM unit competes with Express Scripts Holding Co, said Coram would add $1.4 billion to revenues in the first year after the deal closes and 3 to 5 cents per share to CVS’s adjusted earnings per share in 2015.

CVS expects the deal to close in the first quarter of 2014.

Barclays served as CVS’s financial advisor on the deal, while Sullivan and Cromwell LLP and Dechert LLP served as legal advisors.

Apria was advised by Goldman, Sachs & Co and Blackstone Advisory Partners, while Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as the legal advisor.

Phil Wahba is a reporter for Reuters News in New York