NEW YORK (AP) - Drugstore chain operator CVS Caremark Corp. said Wednesday that it has agreed to buy the drug infusion business Coram LLC, a unit of Apria Healthcare Group Inc., for $2.1 billion.
CVS says the deal will make it more competitive and enable it to provide more services to its customers. CVS runs the second-largest U.S. drugstore chain behind Walgreen Co., and its Caremark unit is one of the nation's largest pharmacy benefits managers.
Coram provides medication and food that is administered through a vein or tube. Among those using such services are patients being treated for conditions such as immune deficiencies, rheumatoid arthritis and nutritional deficiencies.
The Denver-based company says it serves more than 20,000 patients a month through home infusion and a national network of more than 85 locations, including more than 65 ambulatory infusion suites.
The deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2014.
CVS, which is based in Woonsocket, R.I., expects Coram to generate revenue of about $1.4 billion in the first year after the deal closes and add earnings of between 3 cents per share and 5 cents per share in 2015.
Coram has about 4,500 employees around the country. Its parent company, Apria Healthcare Group, is based in Lake Forest, Ill., and is owned by investment firm The Blackstone Group LP.
Shares of CVS rose 74 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $66.83 in midday trading Wednesday. Blackstone Group shares rose 28 cents, or 1 percent, to $28.42.
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