NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- McKesson ( MCK) announced Monday that it will buy cancer-treatment company U.S. Oncology for about $2.16 billion to create a "best-in-class oncology program."

McKesson said the combination will boost its ability meet the rising demand for affordable and high-quality cancer care -- "one of the most important segments in health care," according to the company.

The deal includes the purchase of all outstanding shares of U.S. Oncology for cash and the assumption of U.S. Oncology's outstanding debt.

The companies said they are trying to close the deal by the end of McKesson's third fiscal quarter on Dec. 31.

McKesson said it expects the acquisition to be neutral to its per-share earnings in its current fiscal year and "modestly" accretive starting in the company's 2012 fiscal year.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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