Lincare may be bought by German company for about $3.4 billion: Report
Lincare shares rose nearly 24 percent Wednesday on unconfirmed reports it may be bought for close to $3.4 billion.
Is Clearwater provider of oxygen and respiratory services Lincare Holdings in play? A posting by the Financial Times "Alphaville" blog says a German company called Linde may offer $40 a share or about $3.4 billion for Lincare. Linde is big in healthcare services and, according to the FT blog, would consider Lincare an addition to its pharmaceutical and medical gases division.
The same posting says France's Air Liquide SA and an unnamed private equity bidder may also be in the running for Lincare. The FT blog posting does not identify its sources other than saying they are "usually reliable."
Lincare's stock, already at a healthy price, skyrocketed nearly 24 percent Wednesday on the reports. The company's market value is $2.6 billion. Linde's is over $20 billion. Based on $1.8 billion in revenues last year, Lincare is the 8th largest public company based in the Tampa Bay area. It has nearly 11,000 employees at more than 1,000 locations. It trades on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol LNCR.
Here's an updated Reuters story on the possible deal.
We'll update the reports on a possible Lincare deal as more information emerges. (Photo, right: Lincare headquarters in Clearwater at 19387 U.S. 19 North. By Joseph Garnett Jr. of the Tampa Bay Times.)
-- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times