Supplies giant expands into western U.S.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

MILFORD, Conn. - Byram Health Centers, a provider of medical supplies to patients in the home, made inroads into the West Coast in May with the acquisition of Choice Medical Supplies, a market leader in the Northwest and northern California.

The acquisition provides Connecticut-based Byram with its first physical presence west on Denver, Colo. Byram will center its West Coast operations from Choice Medical’s former headquarters in Bellevue, Washington.

The acquisition makes strategic sense, according to Steve McCoy, Byram’s vice president of marketing and development, despite strong competition from Shield Healthcare, a medical supplies provider headquartered in Valencia, Calif.

“Choice has a strong brand equity in that Northwest market, and I think it has demonstrated an ability to compete effectively in the markets that it serves,” said McCoy.

The Choice Medical acquisition also is expected to boost the combined company’s annual revenues to more that $100 million, said McCoy, and Byram’s customer base will grow to nearly 250,000.

Choice Medical provides a complementary business to Byram, sharing similar core products and business practices. In some areas, like incontinence, Byram hopes to benefit from its expertise, said McCoy.

“There are some product categories where [Choice] has developed a greater expertise in than we have, and we hope to transfer that expertise and that competency in certain categories to our broader business,” he said.

Following the acquisition, Byram will have more than 450 employees and will operate 11 customer service locations and six distribution centers nationwide.