Emergency Medical Services agrees to $3.2B buyout

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 14, 2011 19:01 hrs

Ambulance services provider Emergency Medical Services Corp. said Monday it agreed to sell itself to private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier&Rice at a discounted price of $64 per share, or about $3.2 billion.

EMS said its board has accepted the offer, which comes at a 9.4 percent discount to its Friday closing price of $70.66. EMS expects the sale to close in the second quarter pending approval from shareholders and regulators. The company said its largest shareholder, Onex Corp., and its affiliates support the deal, and that Onex and its affiliates have enough voting power to approve the sale.

The company, based in Greenwood Village, Colo., takes patients to hospitals in ambulances and with air transports. It also runs a physician outsourcing business. It said it provides services in 2,200 communities around the country and dealt with 14 million patients in 2010.

In December, the company said it would review strategic alternatives. Its shares were trading just below $54 at the time of that announcement, and its shares subsequently rose to all-time highs. The stock peaked at $70.94 last week and is up 67.2 percent since setting an annual low of $42.27 in July.

In afternoon trading Monday, the shares fell $7.73, or 10.9 percent, to $62.93.

EMS said Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank Securities, BofA Merrill Lynch, affiliates of Morgan Stanley, RBC Capital Markets and UBS Investment Bank have committed financing to help Clayton, Dubilier&Rice close the deal.

EMS said it will not issue a release discussing its fourth-quarter results because of the sale. It plans to file an annual report later this month.

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