All in the family

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Broker dad sells daughter's biz to Lincare
MEDIA, Pa. — You can't blame Paul Mudrick for acting like a proud father when it comes to the sale of Central Healthcare Services.

As managing director of Colmen Menard and a mergers and acquisitions specialist, Mudrick's sold many medical equipment companies. But the Central deal was special: His daughter, Karen, owned 85% of it.

"It's interesting how things happen," Mudrick said.

Interesting, indeed. This is actually the second time Mudrick's sold the company.

With a "few bucks in his pocket," Mudrick's father, Harry, started the business in 1934. Paul went to work as a pharmacist with his dad in 1960. In 1986, Paul sold the business — all but the company's pediatric HME and physiological lab components — to Foster Medical.

After the sale, Paul went in the M&A business. The unsold portion of the business lay dormant until 1994. That's when Karen (as her dad hoped she would) revived it, adding an adult respiratory component to its pediatric respiratory services. Central dropped the lab business when Medicare slashed reimbursement for those services.

Last month, Mudrick sold the business again, this time to Lincare. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Lincare acquired only Central's adult respiratory business, which represents 78% of its revenue. Karen Mudrick hasn't decided what to do with the pediatric component.

"It was a feather in her cap to sell to Lincare because it is one of the best companies in the United States," Mudrick said. "Their due diligence is unbelievable."

He also likes to point out that Karen sold the company for 40 times what two shareholders wanted to sell it for in the early 90s when the company lay dormant.

Will he get to sell the company a third time? Not likely, said Karen, who's not more interested in starting a family than another HME company.

On the other hand, you never know, she said.

"It does seem that a lot of people who get out get back in," she said. "If you are a patient-oriented person, I think it is always with you." HME