KKR's $1.4 billion acquisition of PharMerica completed early

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The acquisition of long-term care pharmacy PharMerica Corporation by investment firm KKR has been completed slightly ahead of schedule, the companies announced Thursday.

The deal was first announced in August and originally expected to be completed in 2018. It creates a new company controlled by KKR, with Walgreen Boots Alliance Inc. as an investor. PharMerica shareholders approved the merger in November.

At the time the sale was announced, PharMerica officials and healthcare observers said it made sense to combine the companies' respective strengths and boost KKR and Walgreens' pharmacy business.

"KKR/Walgreens venture will seek to achieve synergistic value by combining Walgreen's retail and mail order operations with Pharmerica's nursing home and clinic-based pharmacy operations and using this purchasing power as potential leverage to negotiate better pricing at the wholesaler level," Edward Buthusiem, JD, a managing director at Berkeley Research Group told McKnight's Long-Term Care News in August.

PharMerica CEO Gregory S. Weishar also said at the time the deal would deliver “substantial benefits” to the company's clients.

As a result of the acquisition completion shares of PharMerica's common stock have ceased trading no the NYSE.