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CALIFORNIA | HEALTH CARE | THE STATE

Apria Explores Possibility of Buyout

June 27, 1997|(Barbara Marsh)

Apria Healthcare Group Inc. may be put up for sale. The Costa Mesa-based company, a major provider of home health-care services, said it hired investment bank Goldman, Sachs & Co. to help explore alternatives that include a possible buyout. Apria--the product of a merger of two Orange County rivals two years ago--has been beset by breakdowns in its collections systems, unprofitable business ventures and rapid changes in its industry. Apria said it will take charges of $95 million in the second quarter as a result of billing and collection difficulties, as well as unprofitable businesses. The company said it plans to drop a strategy of becoming a "one-stop shop" for insurers seeking home health-care services for their members. Apria plans to shed its home nursing and medical supplies businesses and focus, once again, on its main businesses of respiratory services, home-infusion therapy and home medical equipment. Apria's stock was unchanged at $18 on the NYSE.

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