Tuesday, August 27, 2002

What's the Buzz?

Omnicare nearer to NCS purchase

By James Pilcher jpilcher@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Covington-based pharmaceutical management and research firm Omnicare Inc. Monday said that its offer to buy rival NCS Healthcare Inc. had cleared a key regulatory hurdle.

        Omnicare, which has offered $83 million for Beachwood, Ohio-based NCS, said that the waiting period for comments under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Acts expired Friday. Under the law, Justice Department and other regulatory officials are to raise any questions about proposed mergers and acquisitions within a certain period of time.

        But the company is still embroiled in a battle over NCS. Kennett Square, Pa.-based Genesis Health Ventures, also a pharmacy management firm, is trying to buy NCS as well. Those two companies have entered into a purchase agreement, even though Genesis' offer is only for $38 million.

        Omnicare has filed suit to stop that deal, while NCS filed a countersuit last Thursday, saying that Omnicare's offer contained false and misleading statements.


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