NEW YORK (The Deal) -- CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS) - Get Report on Wednesday, Nov. 27, said it would acquire the specialty infusion business of Apria Healthcare Group in a deal that is valued at $2.1 billion.

The business to be acquired, Coram, is one of the nation's largest providers of infusion therapies and nutrition services to more than 20,000 patients each month. The Denver-based unit cares for patients via home visits as well as a national network of more than 85 locations.

Infusion therapies are treatments for chronic conditions including immune deficiencies, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and nutritional deficiencies. Costs related to the procedures are often covered under pharmacy benefits, depending on where the treatments take place.

Jon Roberts, president of Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS's pharmacy services unit, said the deal would be a boost to the CVS business.

"Infusion will be a valuable component of our broad specialty pharmacy offering going forward," Roberts said. "Our comprehensive services will enable us to streamline care management for patients as well as their physicians, leading to better health outcomes while avoiding unnecessary costs."

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CVS said it expects Coram to generate about $1.4 billion in sales during the first twelve months of ownership.

For Lake Forest, Calif.-based Apria, a Blackstone Group (BX) - Get Report portfolio company, the deal provides a much needed cash infusion. Moody's Investors Service earlier this month put out a warning concerning the company's liquidity, saying in a report that it expects "that there are not sufficient liquidity sources to meet the company's sizable debt obligations absent a refinancing."

Apria chairman John G. Figueroa, who is also CEO of Coram, in a statement said that "CVS Caremark and Coram share a mutual commitment to provide patients with quality care."

Post-deal Apria will still be a provider of oxygen therapy, sleep apnea products and other services via a network of 500 locations.

Barclays (BCS) - Get Report is serving as CVS' financial adviser, with Sullivan and Cromwell LLP acting as legal counsel and Dechert handling antitrust matters. Goldman, Sachs & Co. (GS) - Get Report and Blackstone Advisory Partners acted as financial advisers to Apria, while Simpson Thacher & Bartlett served as legal adviser.

Written By Lou Whiteman