April 17, 2013 / 7:46 PM / 6 years ago

Exclusive: Roper nears $1 billion healthcare acquisition -sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Diversified manufacturer Roper Industries Inc is in advanced talks to buy Managed Health Care Associates, a privately held healthcare services provider, for about $1 billion, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

A deal could come as early as next week, according to the people, and would add to Roper’s existing medical business, which the diversified industrial company has grown through acquisitions in the past few years.

Roper is still finalizing details of an agreement with Managed Health Care’s private equity owner, Diamond Castle Holdings LLC, and the discussions could yet fall apart, the people cautioned.

They declined to be named because the matter is confidential. Representatives for Roper, Managed Health Care and Diamond Castle did not respond to requests for comment.

Managed Health Care Associates, based in Florham Park, New Jersey, negotiates discounted contracts with pharmaceutical manufacturers and medical equipment suppliers on behalf of health service providers such as nursing homes or assisted living facilities that operate outside of a traditional hospital setting.

Roper, which has a market value of roughly $12 billion, bought Sunquest Information Systems Inc, a provider of diagnostic and laboratory software services, for about $1.4 billion in July.

Roper produces a range of medical and imaging devices as well as radio frequency products, and sees the medical division benefiting from an aging population and the need for reduced healthcare costs.

Sarasota, Florida-based Roper also makes engineered products and solutions for several industrial markets including water, energy and transportation.

Under Chief Executive Brian Jellison, a former executive of Ingersoll-Rand, Roper embarked on a successful acquisition drive that has boosted the company’s sales and earnings over the last decade. Roper has annual revenue of $2.8 billion and some 8,570 employees, according to its website.

The company was founded by George D. Roper primarily as a manufacturer of home appliances, pumps and other industrial products.

Reporting by Soyoung Kim in New York; Editing by Gary Hill and Phil Berlowitz

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