Praxair acquires N.Y. provider

Sunday, February 2, 2003

February 3, 2003

NYACK, N.Y. - Industrial gas giant Praxair added to its HME holdings last month when it acquired Respiratory Care Plus.

Terms of the deal were not released.

President Jan Fisher started Respiratory Care about 15 years ago and grew the company to between $6 million and $7 million in revenue, according to industry watchers.

Among Praxair's early acquitions: Falls Medical, a $10-million HME in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; Healthcare Partners, a $25-million HME in Louisville, Kentucky; Salt Lake City based Interwest Home Medical for $42 million, plus assuming about $20 in debt.

Praxair’s long-range HME strategy is to acquire healthy companies in regions where it already has a strong industrial gas business. That way Praxair can leverage its existing gas business, either by, for example, sharing office space or efficiently distributing oxygen to its HME.

Praxair desires companies with 60% or more of their business in home respiratory therapy. The company views home respiratory’s double-digit growth as a way to augment its slow-growth industrial gas business.