UPDATE 2-Cardinal Health to buy medical supplier AssuraMed for $2.07 bln
* Deal is a bet on 'Obamacare' - CEO
* To add 2 cents to 3 cents to 2013 EPS, at least 18 cents in FY14
* Expected to close by early April
Feb 14 (Reuters) - U.S. drug wholesaler Cardinal Health Inc said it plans to acquire AssuraMed, a privately held direct-to-home medical supply distributor, for about $2.07 billion.
The acquisition will give Cardinal access to a new segment of the healthcare market that it believes will grow with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, as it is more commonly known.
The deal, financed with $1.3 billion in new senior unsecured notes and cash, is expected to close by early April.
Cardinal Health said the acquisition would add 2 cents to 3 cents per share to adjusted fiscal 2013 earnings if the deal closes in early April. It would add at least 18 cents per share to adjusted earnings in fiscal 2014.
AssuraMed will give Cardinal access to the growing number of Americans who are treated in home settings. The ACA is expected to accelerate this trend, George Barrett, chairman and chief executive, said in a telephone interview.
An aging population, more prevalent chronic diseases, and the need to keep treatment costs down are factors that will necessitate more home care in years to come, he said.
"We see this as the natural direction of care that's moving toward the home," Barrett said.
AssuraMed, with sales of about $1 billion in 2012, serves more than 1 million patients nationally with more than 30,000 products. It helps patients manage insulin infusion, diabetes testing, incontinence, tube feeding, wound care, tracheotomy and provides a host of other healthcare services.
AssuraMed operates through two separate businesses, Independence Medical and Edgepark Medical Supplies.
The market for direct-to-home medical supplies is currently fragmented and Cardinal is betting it can capitalize on it with this acquisition and its expertise in supply chain, logistics and technology.
Cardinal shares were up 82 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $46.26 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.