Hillenbrand Industries, Batesville, Ind., has reached an agreement to acquire Mediq, Pennsauken, N.J., an asset-management and medical equipment rental firm, for approximately $330 million. Mediq's operations -- it had approximately $166 million in revenue in its fiscal 2002 -- will be folded into Hillenbrand's healthcare subsidiary, Hill-Rom. Hill-Rom, which makes hospital beds and other products, said the acquisition would expand its services to a full range of movable medical equipment. Privately held Mediq provides outsourcing services to about 80% of the nation's hospitals. Moody's Investors Service confirmed Hillenbrand's A2 credit rating in light of the announcement but revised its outlook to negative from stable over concern that Hillenbrand "may become more acquisitive over time as it seeks higher-growth opportunities." Intense competition and Mediq's declining financial results also could challenge the company, Moody's said. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by year-end. -- by Cinda Becker
Hill-Rom to absorb equipment outsourcer Mediq
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