PharMerica to go private in $1.4 billion deal as it looks to 'aggressively compete' for assisted living business

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Greg Weishar
Greg Weishar

PharMerica Corp. will be acquired for $1.4 billion by a newly formed company controlled by global investment firm KKR, with Walgreens Boots Alliance as a minority investor, the company announced Wednesday.

The transaction is expected to close in early 2018, at which time PharMerica will become a private company.

“With the support of KKR and a strategic partner in Walgreens Boots Alliance, PharMerica will have additional resources and expertise to advance and grow the business,” PharMerica Corp. CEO Gregory S. Weishar said in a statement.

At least some of that future growth likely will come from assisted living.

In February, Weishar announced plans to launch a new initiative to increase PharMerica's share of the assisted living market.

“We have created a model that we believe responds to some of the, I would say, deficiencies that people have articulated in the past with regards to traditional long-term care services trying to serve that market,” he said at the time.

The initiative, called ValueMed, was launched in the first quarter, and in an earnings call in May, Weishar said that early results were “promising” and that the program “has the potential to be a key driver of organic growth in the core business over the next several years.”

PharMerica operates in 45 states, serving assisted living communities, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, people receiving care at home and those with cancer.

“We believe the company's best-in-class institutional pharmacy service model represents a long-term tailwind for the company, especially as we aggressively compete in the assisted living industry with the ValueMed product,” Weishar said in May.

PharMerica canceled its second-quarter earnings call, which had been scheduled for Thursday, and said it does not plan to hold future earnings calls.

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