Beverly distributor wary of prospective buyer, cuts links with chain

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A longtime key distributor of Beverly Enterprises Inc. has opted not to renew its long-term distribution agreement with the nursing home chain. It attributes its decision to concerns about Beverly's prospective acquirer, North American Senior Care.

Gulf South Medical Supply, a subsidiary of PSS World Medical Inc., said it is concerned whether North American Senior Care "would honor and abide by past practices with regard to trade and credit terms." It based its conclusion on pending litigation involving the company in Georgia. Lawmakers also have called for investigation into North American Senior Care's practices and abilities.

Gulf South, whose 20-year contract with Beverly has expired, earned $34.5 million in revenues from the Fort Smith, AR-based chain in the last 12 months.