Apria: Blackstone Buyout Closing Today

Oct 28 (Reuters) – Shares of Apria Healthcare Group Inc (AHG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) soared 45 percent after the home health-care services company said its acquisition by the Blackstone Group (BX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), would close Tuesday, putting to rest fears that the deal may not go through.

In June, Apria had agreed to be bought by Blackstone affiliate, Sky Merger Sub Corp, for $21 a share.

At the time, some analysts expressed surprise at the $1.6 billion deal, due to concerns on legislative changes related to reimbursement and the slowdown in the U.S. economy.

Apria derives a major portion of its revenue from reimbursements under the federal Medicare program.

Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, Apria’s stock price was down 22 percent from Oct 6, when Moody’s Investor Services gave a less-than-stellar rating to Blackstone’s acquisition vehicle.

Apria will cease to be publicly traded upon completion of the acquisition.

The company shares were trading up 43 percent, or $6.03, at $20.02 in midday trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Jennifer Robin Raj in Bangalore; Editing by Anthony Kurian)