Pharmacy Giant Omnicare Seeks Buyer: Reports

Omnicare Inc. (NYSE: OCR), the nation’s largest long-term care pharmacy, is rumored to be seeking a buyer, according to news reports.

Company representatives declined to comment to Bloomberg, which originally reported on the potential sale Wednesday afternoon, citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter.

The company also declined comment to SHN, saying that it does not comment on market rumors or speculation as a matter of policy.

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Omnicare is consulting with financial advisers but a deal may not be reached, the sources told Bloomberg.

Trading of the company’s shares was halted after the Bloomberg report was posted.

Omnicare has an estimated market capitalization of $7.85 billion, according to MarketWatch. UBS analysts believe that a potential buyer would have to pay $95 a share, making Walgreen’s, Rite Aid and other potential candidates unlikely to pull the trigger, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

The company’s net sales for 2014 were $6.42 billion, up from $6.01 billion a year prior. Its gross profit was flat at $1.42 billion, and adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations was $718 million versus $674 million. It plans to release first-quarter 2015 results on Wednesday, April 29.

Cincinnati-based Omnicare has been caught up in a number of legal matters, including an ongoing federal False Claims Act case in which it is charged with receiving millions in kickbacks from Abbott Laboratories for recommending and purchasing the anti-seizure medication Depakote. The drug sometimes is given to long-term care residents with dementia.

In 2013, Omnicare agreed to pay a $120 million federal settlement to resolve charges over its Medicare Part A drug pricing for skilled nursing facilities.

Written by Tim Mullaney

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