Manor Care buy seen as attempt to regain control of Vitalink

April 19, 1997|By M. William Salganik | M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF

Moving to regain majority control of Vitalink Pharmacy Services, Manor Care announced yesterday that it would buy up to 1.5 million shares of the institutional pharmacy company at $20 a share.

Manor Care, a Gaithersburg company that operates nursing facilities and assisted living complexes, owned 82 percent of Vitalink until February. Vitalink issued 11.7 million shares of stock to buy the TeamCare pharmacy division of GranCare Inc. of Atlanta, another long-term care company. The deal was valued at $388 million, including the assumption of $107 million in debt.

That dropped Manor Care's stake in Vitalink to 45 percent. Stewart Bainum Jr. is chairman of Vitalink's board; he is also chairman, president and chief executive officer of Manor Care.

Bainum said raising Manor Care's interest in Vitalink above 50 percent would allow inclusion of Vitalink's income in Manor Care's financial reports.

Vitalink shares closed yesterday at $18.50, up $1. Manor Care shares closed unchanged at $23.125.

Vitalink, based in Naperville, Ill., is the second-largest publicly traded institutional pharmacy company in the country.

Pub Date: 4/19/97

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