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And then there were three?

And then there were three?

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Lincare is in discussions to buy Brentwood, Tenn.-based American HomePatient from investment firm Highland Capital Management, Bloomberg reported Oct. 23.

A deal could be announced as early as this week, according to people familiar with the deal.

If Lincare buys American HomePatient, it would be one of three remaining nationals in the HME industry, with Apria Healthcare and Rotech Healthcare.

AHP has reportedly been on the market since last year. The Deal, a publication that offers new and analysis about M&A, reported in December 2014 that AHP had retained Jeffries & Co. to explore a sale.

Dallas-based investment firm Highland Capital Management bought AHP in 2010 in a move that helped the provider avoid bankruptcy. Such firms typically hold onto investments for five to seven years.

AHP serves more than 1 million patients annually through about 250 locations.

Lincare is owned by Munich-based Linde. Linde bought Lincare in 2013 for $3.8 billion. In a conference call following the deal, Linde outlined plans to reduce the number of Lincare's locations, diversify its product mix and grow the company organically. At the time, Lincare had about 1,000 locations across the county.

Earlier this year, Linde named Kristen Hoefer CEO of Lincare, succeeding John Byrnes, who retired after leading the company since 1997.


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