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Bard to acquire Liberator Medical for $181 million

Merger to add estimated $70 million to 2016 net sales.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

C. R. Bard, a medical technology manufacturer, is acquiring durable medical equipment company Liberator Medical Holdings Inc., for about $181 million, the company announced Friday.

Bard entered into a definitive agreement to merge with Liberator Medical Holdings, Inc. for $3.35 per share.

Liberator provides consumers with products from multiple manufacturers, including Bard, which represents a small minority of its current revenue.

"We intend to continue to promote other manufacturers' products directly to consumers," C.R. Bard said in a statement.

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The acquisition represents a strategic fit for Bard as it enhances its position in the home care market, it said.

C. R. Bard Inc., headquartered in Murray Hill, N.J., focuses on  medical technologies in the fields of vascular, urology, oncology and surgical specialty products.

Liberator's revenue comes from supplying urological catheters, ostomy supplies, mastectomy fashions and diabetic supplies directly with patients and their physicians, on a recurring basis.

National expenditures within the durable medical equipment market are projected to increase from $45.8 billion in 2015 to $71.3 billion in 2023, according to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates cited by Bard.

The merger is subject to customary closing conditions, approval of shareholders and regulatory approvals. The company expects the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2016 and add approximately $70 million to 2016 net sales.

The company estimates that in 2017 this acquisition will increase the organic revenue growth rate of the company and contribute between 5 and 10 cents of adjusted cash earnings per share.

"This acquisition is a key building block in our strategy to access faster growing markets. As the population ages and more healthcare is expected to occur outside of the hospital setting, we believe that having direct access to the patient in the home is strategically important," said Bard Chairman and CEO Timothy M. Ring. 

Twitter: @SusanJMorse