UPDATE 2-BioScrip to sell a few pharmacy businesses to Walgreen

Thu Feb 2, 2012 9:52am EST

* Total deal valued at $225 mln

* Walgreen to pay $170 mln in cash

* Deal to close by late April

* BioScrip shares rise as much as 19 pct

Feb 2 (Reuters) - BioScrip Inc said it will sell certain assets of its community specialty pharmacies and centralized specialty and mail service pharmacy businesses to Walgreen Co, the largest U.S. drugstore chain, for about $225 million.

The news sent the specialty pharmaceutical healthcare company's shares up as much as 19 percent to $6.96, their highest in more than three months, on Thursday morning on the Nasdaq.

The deal includes about $170 million in cash at closing and retention by BioScrip of associated accounts receivable and working capital liabilities of about $55 million.

BioScrip said it could receive up to an additional $60 million based on events related directly or indirectly to Walgreen's retention of the businesses.

BioScrip had said early last year that it was looking at strategic options to reduce rising costs, and went through a series of management changes.

The company said it will use proceeds from the deal -- which is expected to close by April -- to expand its infusion pharmacy footprint and pay down debt.

Infusion/home health pharmacy -- which provides injectable medications and related services in a home setting -- added 25 percent to BioScrip's third-quarter revenue.

According to the National Home Infusion Association (NHIA), the alternate-site infusion therapy sector in the United States is currently estimated to be about $9 billion to $11 billion per year, BioScrip said.

For the nine-months ended Sept. 30, the businesses being sold to Walgreen reported revenue of $938.5 million and a gross profit of $73.7 million.

BioScrip's community specialty pharmacy business is a national network with 30 locations in 16 states across the United States and the District of Columbia, primarily serving HIV, oncology and transplant patients.

Elmsford, New York-based BioScrip said it expects the transaction to add to its 2012 earnings.

MTS Health Partners acted as financial adviser to BioScrip while Peter J. Solomon Co acted as financial adviser to Walgreen.