Priority grab indicative of infusion market

Sunday, July 31, 2005

LAKE MARY, Fla. -- Priority Healthcare acquired Louisville, Ky.-based SpectraCare's $32-million infusion business in June, a move indicative of the booming M&A activity in that business segment.
SpectraCare's six specialty pharmacies in four states will be integrated into Priority's existing Integrity Healthcare Services specialty infusion business, which has 29 branches in 18 states. Priority acquired Integrity Healthcare in June 2004.
"This acquisition leverages current opportunities while also continuing to position us well for the significant number of new drugs in the biotech pipeline requiring infusion support," said Priority's senior vice president, Francis McNamara, in a company statement.
Provident Health Partners, which brokered the deal, said infusion transactions are on the rise in the wake of mass consolidation in the specialty pharmacy market.
"The number of conventional specialty pharmacies has diminished due to the period of consolidation we have recently seen. The next logical step is to expand into specialty infusion-based businesses or to enter this new market through platform acquisitions," said Justin Hand, a senior associate with Provident Healthcare.
Provident has brokered a number of infusion transaction during the past year because of the business's profitability and potential for long-term growth, said Hand
"Infusion was hot a few years back and then settled down," he said. "The market is once again heating up and will continue to do so, but these things are cyclical and how long this lasts is unknown."
Priority also acquired SpectraCare's medical management operation, Care Continuum, which provides network management on an administrative fee for service basis for managed care organizations. The acquisition did not include SpectraCare's home health operations.