Air Products expands into Mid West

Monday, March 31, 2003

CONSHOCKEN, Pa. - American Homecare Supply, the HME arm of industrial gas giant Air Products, flexed its muscle last month and acquired DependiCare, a $17 million, four-location Illinois provider. The deal was AHS’s third in a matter of weeks and marks the company’s first foray into the Mid West.

For DependiCare, the deal allows it to join a company with deep pockets that is committed to growing its HME business. It also allows some older Dependicare shareholders to cash out their investment, Millersaid president Roger Miller . For American Homecare Supply

“This was strategic,” said Dependicare president Roger Miller. “What we have done over the last 15 years is build our business up to be a platform. We wanted to find a company that would allow us to work as a hub.”

Dependicare has locations in Broadview, Elgin, Sycamore and South Beloit. The company derives 58% of its business from home respiratory therapy and the most of the rest through traditional DME. Retail sales represent 5% of its business, Miller said.

American Homecare Supply, which Air Products acquired last fall for $165 million, now operates locations from New Hampshire to West Virginia. In addition to Dependicare, AHS deepened its East Coast coverage with two other acquisitions.

In February, Air Products acquired C.O.P.D. Services, which provides a wide array of services, including HME, enteral therapy, respiratory equipment/supplies and rehab products. The company serves New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania. The co-founders of C.O.P.D Services, Alan and Christina Bowman, have agreed to remain with American Homecare Supply.

On Jan. 31, Air Products announced that it had acquired Lehigh Valley Hospital and Healthcare Network’s DME and home respiratory therapy business - previously operated by Health Spectrum Medical Products, a hospital subsidiary.

The Health Spectrum’s operations acquired by Air Products will become part of Young’s Medical. Young’s Medical is a division of American Homecare Supply (AHS), which Air Products bought in October for $166 million.

Health Spectrum’s Allentown, Pa., operation will be merged into Young’s facility in Palmer Township. AHS may open a satellite office closer to patients in the Allentown area, AHS CEO Bob Cucuel told The Morning Call in Allentown.

Spectrum’s Harrisburg, Pa., operations will be folded into Young’s Harrisburg office, while Spectrum’s Horsham operations will be consolidated with a Young’s facility in Lansdale, Cucuel said.

Health Spectrum patients were scheduled to start receiving service from Young’s Medical Equipment by March 31.

AHS now has branches stretching from New Hampshire south through West Virginia. HME