Apria To Buy Praxair Home Care Unit

Apria Healthcare Group Inc. will buy the U.S. home care business of industrial gas company Praxair Inc., Apria and Praxair said Wednesday.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Apria Healthcare Group Inc. will buy the U.S. home care business of industrial gas company Praxair Inc., Apria and Praxair said Wednesday.

The companies did not disclose terms of the sale, which is expected to close in the first quarter.

Praxair's home care business provides home respiratory services and medical equipment through 85 branch locations in 27 states, and it employs about 1,100 people.

Apria, a home health care products and services company headquartered in Lake Forest, Calif., operates 504 branches nationwide and serves about 1.3 million patients a year.

Shares of Danbury, Conn.-based Praxair fell 58 cents to $94.70 in afternoon trading.

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