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Rural/Metro sale to ambulance rival should close in Q4

By Eric Reinhardt


Envision Healthcare Holdings Inc. (EVHC: NYSE), parent of American Medical Response (AMR), will acquire Rural/Metro Corp. in a deal uniting rival ambulance-service providers, set to close in the fourth quarter.

The acquisition price is $620 million in cash, according to an SEC filing posted on the website for Envision.

Rural/Metro is a privately held national provider of ambulance and fire-protection services and services several communities in Central New York. The Scottsdale, Arizona–based company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August 2013.

The agreement includes all of Rural/Metro’s emergency-medical services, fire services and other business operations, Rural/Metro said in a news release.

The deal will “accelerate the business transformation that Rural/Metro has been undergoing,” and AMR and Envision have a “strong record as innovative industry leaders in outsourced healthcare service markets,” the companies contended in the release.

Rural/Metro has spent the past several years “fine-tuning” its operations and “enhancing” the services it provides to patients and community partners, Scott Bartos, CEO of Rural/Metro, said.

“Envision’s mobile integrated health-care strategy will allow us to provide even greater value to those constituents while

creating new opportunities for our team members. Combining with AMR and aligning with Envision Healthcare will enable us to be active contributors to solutions that are shaping the future of healthcare,” said Bartos.

The “continued progression” of health-care reform across the country is driving “new models” for both service delivery and reimbursement, Sven Johnson, chief strategy officer for Rural/Metro, said in the release.

“We have been strategically expanding our service offerings over the last few years to fill service gaps that have been created by health-care market changes. We are excited by the opportunities that this merger provides to accelerate the transformation of our business model and the expansion of service offerings to our communities,” said Johnson.

In CNY, Rural/Metro ambulances serve a six-county area, including Onondaga, Cayuga, and Madison counties.

The local office is at 488 W. Onondaga St. in Syracuse.

Headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado, Envision Healthcare Holdings, Inc. has more than 35,000 employees and affiliated clinicians. It offers services to consumers, hospitals, health-care systems, health plans, and local, state and national-government entities.

The acquisition was announced after the close of regular stock trading on Thursday. Investors and traders seemed to applaud the deal as Envision Healthcare shares jumped more than 10 percent to $44.80 in Friday trading on heavy share volume.


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