Omnicare extends run at NeighborCare

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Omnicare Inc., the nation's largest provider of pharmacy services to nursing homes, announced Friday it has extended its purchase offer of $1.3 billion to buy Baltimore-based NeighborCare Inc. The month-long extension will expire Oct. 29.

Previously announced attempts by Covington, KY-based Omnicare have been unanimously rejected by NeighborCare's board of directors, who maintain their customers, shareholders and employees are better served by continued competition rather than a takeover. NeighborCare leaders played down Friday's announcement as simply a reiteration of a previously rejected offer.

Some things have changed, however. Omnicare said 52.5% of NeighborCare's outstanding shares had been tendered to it as of Sept. 30, up from 47.6% as of Aug. 31.

Omnicare's offer amounts to $30 per share. It was trading Friday at $25.72 per share on the Nasdaq. Because a merger would create a giant serving 1.3 million long-term care beds, the Federal Trade Commission has asked for more information about the proposed deal.