A W.R. Grace & Co. executive late last week offered to buy the firm's profitable dialysis company, National Medical Care, which he heads, for $3.5 billion.
Constantine L. Hampers, who was snubbed in his attempt to become Boca Raton, Fla.-based Grace's chief executive officer, surprised Grace executives by announcing his interest in buying NMC, the nation's largest kidney dialysis provider. Some $3 billion of the purchase price would be in cash.
Earlier last week, Grace disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that federal grand juries in New Jersey and Virginia are investigating Waltham, Mass.-based NMC. The New Jersey panel is looking into whether the unit sold defective products and properly handled customer complaints. Separately, a grand jury in Alexandria, Va., is investigating contracts between NMC's dialysis service business and third parties providing medical directorships and other services, Grace said.
The probes are the latest problems for NMC. Twice in the last two years, the Food and Drug Administration has cited the company for violating importation regulations (April 17, p. 9).
Albert Costello, who won the position of president and CEO last week, said Hampers' offer, which is subject to financing, will be considered by the company's board "in due course." Hampers, who also is a Grace executive vice president, had been considered the leading candidate for the top job, but the company chose Costello, former CEO of American Cyanamid Co.
Grace's healthcare division, which includes NMC, generated $1.9 billion in 1994 revenues, up 24% from 1993.
Analysts told the Associated Press they have been pushing for W.R. Grace to spin off its healthcare business, which generates 37% of the company's $5 billion in revenues.