KKR Buys Largest Ambulance Service for $2.4B

The combination of American Medical Response and KKR's Air Medical will transport more than five million patients per year.
Matthew HellerAugust 8, 2017

Private-equity KKR is adding to its portfolio of health companies by acquiring ambulance operator American Medical Response from Envision Healthcare for $2.4 billion.

KKR already owns Air Medical Group Holdings, which operates a fleet of ground and air ambulances. With the addition of AMR, the largest U.S. provider of ambulance services, its medical transportation business will transport more than five million patients per year across 46 states and the District of Columbia.

AMR currently has 27,000 employees and AMGH has 6,600.

“AMGH and AMR are preeminent providers of medical transportation responsible for delivering care to millions of patients every year. We are pleased to be able to bring together these two great companies and look forward to supporting the growth of the combined business,” AMGH Chairman Jim Momtazee said in a news release.

Envision itself merged with AmSurg in 2016, creating the largest U.S. physician-staffing company. CEO Christopher Holden said the sale of AMR will allow Envision to “focus on its physician-centric strategy and ongoing services, including facility-based provider services, post-acute care and ambulatory surgery.”

The combined company will get a new name, with AMR and AMGH operating as two divisions of that entity. Randel G. Owen, Envision’s president of ambulatory services, will assume the role of president and chief executive of the combined company, while Fred Buttrell, CEO of Air Medical, and Edward Van Horne, chief executive of AMR, will continue in their positions.

“We believe this partnership will create an exceptional medical transportation company that will allow us to provide seamless, reliable and quality patient care to communities and health systems,” Owen said. “The breadth of this combined organization will enhance our ability to improve patient care in the ever changing healthcare landscape.”

Envision shares rose nearly 1% to $55.55 on news of the deal Tuesday. The company originally was formed when Canadian private-equity firm Onex Corp. acquired AMR and another business, EmCare, from Laidlaw International Inc. in 2004.

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