Walgreens caps offer for Option Care

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreen Co. said Monday it had completed its tender offer for Option Care, and it predicted its $850 million buyout of the specialty pharmacy and health services company would be completed shortly.

With the expiration of an offer for Option Care, Bison Acquisition Sub Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Walgreens, had purchased approximately 32.7 million shares of the company, or 94 percent of Option Care’s outstanding stock. The deal, when finalized, will make that company a wholly owned subsidiary and vault the drug chain to a top spot among the nation’s specialty pharmacy operators.

The addition of Option Care will also boost Walgreens’ clout as a full-service health care provider in the battle for managed-care contracts.

Walgreens revealed July 2 it had agreed to purchase Option Care in a deal worth $850 million in cash and assumed debt. The merger, when completed, will propel Walgreens to the fourth-leading position in specialty pharmacy, according to the company.

From its home base of Buffalo Grove, Ill., Option Care fields teams of clinical professionals through a national network of more than 100 pharmacies, include 61 that are company-owned, in 34 states. Its services are used by more than 40,000 patients with acute or chronic conditions that can be treated at home, in a physician’s office or at one of Option Care’s ambulatory infusion suites.

Option Care’s services also include respiratory therapy and home medical equipment at some locations. Its operation will be merged with Walgreens’ growing specialty pharmacy and home care business, which has grown to 45 home care centers in 18 states, and six Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy locations.