Blackstone Bids On Healthcare, Real Estate Concerns

Jan 25 2007 | 2:21pm ET

Proving that cash is still king, The Blackstone Group this week offered to pay a cool $41 billion to acquire Cardinal Health’s Pharmaceutical Technologies and Services and Equity Office Properties Trust in separate transactions.

Cardinal health is an $81 billion global provider of products and services supporting the healthcare industry, and its PTS businesses develop, manufacture and package medication and other products for pharmaceutical and biotech firms, employing approximately 10,000 at more than 30 facilities worldwide generating approximately $1.8 billion in annual revenue.

Blackstone has agreed to buy PTS for approximately $3.3 billion in cash.
“The move allows us to accelerate the repurchase of Cardinal Health shares and focus our full attention on our mission to help make health care safer and more productive through our supply-chain and clinical products businesses,” stated Kerry Clark, president and CEO of Cardinal Healh.

Blackstone is no stranger to the healthcare sector having invested in healthcare concerns such as Biomet, Emcure and Encore Medical.

The firm has also agreed to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Equity Office Properties Trust for $54 per share, payable in cash, in a transaction valued at approximately $38.3 billion. This offer trumps the $52-a-share cash and stock proposal from a group led by Vornado Realty Trust. Last November, Blackstone made an earlier bid of $48.50 a share for real estate concern.

Equity Office, operating through its various subsidiaries and affiliates, is the largest publicly traded owner and manager of office properties in the United States by square footage, according to the firm.

Equity Office’s board of trustees has unanimously approved and a special meeting of shareholders to vote on the merger agreement remains scheduled to convene on Feb. 5.

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