Omnicare (finally) buys NeighborCare for $1.55 billion

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Omnicare, the nation's largest long-term care pharmacy provider, is becoming an even more dominant player. It has agreed to purchase competitor NeighborCare in a deal said to be valued at $1.55 billion in cash.

Omnicare will buy all outstanding shares of NeighborCare common stock for $34.75 each. The deal was approved just weeks after NeighborCare refused a $32 per share offer. NeighborCare had called that bid "inadequate."

Omnicare's first unsolicited takeover bid for NeighborCare took place in June 2004. The most recent bid is significantly higher than the one presented last year.

The acquisition would allow the company to seal its market leadership in providing prescriptions to nursing homes and long-term care facilities, Omnicare said. The merged company will have a nationwide network of pharmacies serving long-term care providers in 47 states and the District of Columbia, with nearly 1.4 million beds.