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Washington Post buying bulk of Celtic Healthcare

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Post Co. is getting into the health care business with the purchase of a majority stake in Celtic Healthcare Inc., a provider of home health care and hospice services.

The media and education company said Monday that the deal is part of its strategy to invest in companies with earnings potential and strong management.

"It also fits with our decentralized operating philosophy," Chairman and CEO Donald E. Graham said in a statement. "We are a diverse group of businesses sharing common goals and values but each with its own identity and workplace culture, and with management responsible for its operations."

The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Arnie Burchianti, the founder and CEO of Celtic Healthcare, will continue to run the company.

Mars, Pa.-based Celtic provides home health care and hospice services in Pennsylvania and Maryland. It offers in-home nurses and therapists and other health care workers. It also offers services to the elderly such as housekeeping, help with errands or companionship.

Though best known for The Washington Post newspaper, the Post Co. derives more than half of its revenue from its Kaplan education business. But new federal regulations aimed at lowering student debt have led to lower enrollment at many for-profit schools, including Kaplan.

On Friday, the company said it has halted new enrollments at nine of its Kaplan Higher Education campuses and will consolidate operations of four campuses into other locations. The move is part of its restructuring of the education business.

Washington Post's shares climbed $3.83 to $366.86 in afternoon trading Monday.