Omnicare Exploring Sale of Nursing Home Drug Supplier

Omnicare Inc., a supplier of drugs and services to nursing homes, is exploring a sale, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Omnicare, with a market value of $8.2 billion, is working with financial advisers as it seeks buyers, the people said. The sale process is at an early stage and its possible no deal will be reached, the people cautioned.

The company delivers drugs and helps senior living facilities manage their residents’ medications. Demand for such pharmacy services is rising as patients, insurers and companies look for ways to manage costs with drug prices on the rise.

Takeovers by health-care services companies are on the rise this year. The largest such deal so far was last month’s agreement by UnitedHealth Group Inc. to buy drug-benefit manager Catamaran Corp. for $12.8 billion.

Omnicare rose 4.3 percent to $84.52 a share, a new record close. The shares are up 44 percent in the past year.

The U.S. Supreme Court last month gave Omnicare a partial victory in a ruling over investor lawsuits. Omnicare is being sued by investors who allege it misled purchasers of its shares by saying it was operating within the law in documents filed with regulators.

A federal appeals court ruling would have required Omnicare to defend against the lawsuit. The Supreme Court decision sends the case back to the lower courts to assess whether Omnicare omitted any material facts in its filing.

A representative for Omnicare declined to comment, citing company policy.

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