Laidlaw International, Naperville, Ill., which owns Greyhound Lines, will sell its two healthcare units, American Medical Response and EmCare, to private equity firm Onex Partners, New York, for $820 million. AMR is the nation's largest private ambulance company. EmCare provides physician-staffing and management services to more than 300 hospital emergency departments. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of March 2005, subject to normal and customary closing conditions. Onex Partners is a $2.2 billion private equity fund established by Onex Corp., Toronto, a diversified company with consolidated annual revenue of about $16 billion.
Onex Partners Managing Director Robert Le Blanc described the emergency-services companies as "two excellent platforms for growth" in the industry. "We believe that this investment will enable the management team to take advantage of future growth opportunities that will create shareholder, customer and patient value," Le Blanc said. AMR had earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $87 million on revenue of $1.1 billion in fiscal 2004 ended Aug. 31, a Laidlaw spokeswoman said. EmCare reported EBITDA of $36 million on revenue of $550 million, she said. -- by Michael Romano