Lincare is on the move in New England.

Sunday, January 9, 2005

January 10, 2005

CHARLESTOWN, N.H. - On Dec. 29, Lincare closed a deal to acquire Respiratory Solutions, which provides HME services in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Additionally, Lincare’s on-again-off-again courtship of Charlestown-based Merriam-Graves, one of the largest independent HMEs in northern New England, is on again.
An internal Merriam-Graves memo to employees dated Dec. 27 stated: “As you remember, Lincare disengaged from discussions with us last June, but they recently  expressed a continuing interest in acquiring our home medical business.”
Merriam-Graves President Scott Wakeman declined to comment on the deal.
In June, issues with Merriam Graves’ A/R discovered during due diligence reportedly led Lincare to back off its initial offer. Merriam-Graves considered the lower offer unacceptable and scuttled the deal, according to industry sources.
Merriam-Graves is a subsidiary of an industrial gas company by the same name. The HME derives 60% to 70% of its revenue from home respiratory services, and operates about 15 locations throughout the Northeast.
Even after the initial Lincare deal fell through, Merriam-Graves actively shopped around for a potential buyer, but couldn’t find anyone interested in the asking price. The company also took some time to "clean up" its A/R, said a source familiar with the deal.
Concerns regarding Medicare DME cuts and billing problems apparently played a role in the Merriam-Graves’ decision to sell, said one source.