At last, Omnicare to buy NeighborCare?

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A major acquisition could be on the horizon in the long-term care pharmacy industry.

Omnicare Inc., the country's largest provider of long-term care and pharmacy services, on Thursday raised its bid for NeighborCare, a major drug and medical supply distributor, which agreed to review the latest offer.

Omnicare is now offering  $1.45 billion for the Baltimore-based company after a regulatory antitrust review cleared the proposed deal. Omnicare said it would increase its cash tender offer to $32 from $30 for each NeighborCare share. It also would assume about $250 million in debt.

Since Omnicare, which is based in Covington, KY, launched its unsolicited bid last June, NeighborCare has refused to discuss the proposed takeover. The latest offer is set to expire this June 30. NeighborCare urged stockholders not to tender their shares under the new bid until the board had issued a recommendation.   

Shares of NeighborCare rose $1.54 to close at $33.70 Thursday. Omnicare shares surged $2.85 to close at $41.66.