Coram deal strengthens CVS Caremark against Walgreens

|About: CVS Health Corporation (CVS)|By:, SA News Editor

CVS Caremark's (CVS) agreement to acquire Coram, the specialty infusion services and enteral nutrition business unit of Apria Healthcare Group, for approximately $2.1B will strengthen its position relative to market leader Walgreens (WAG), Wells Fargo says.

"This transaction should strengthen CVS' positioning in the specialty pharmaceutical business, which we believe is increasingly critical in driving growth for the PBMs, particularly as we believe historical sources of earnings growth taper (including generics and mail order). Walgreens is currently the market leader in the specialty pharmacy business, followed closely by CVS and the acquisition of Coram should strengthen CVS' positioning."

"Prior to Caremark being solely a PBM, it was one of the largest home infusion therapy companies in the country, but Caremark sold these assets in 1995 to Coram for about $310M in cash and preferred stock, with estimated revenues of under $500M. Today's announcement will bring back this business despite the now resolved litigated history regarding the original sale, though Coram is now considerably larger and includes ambulatory infusion sites."

Coram peer BioScrip (BIOS) is +20% today, a move that appears directly related to the acquisition of Coram.