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Henry Schein takes over S.C. firm that makes products for first responders

Henry Schein Inc.of Melville, seen on March 28,

Henry Schein Inc.of Melville, seen on March 28, announced it is acquiring North American Rescue. Credit: Barry Sloan

Henry Schein Inc. Wednesday announced it is acquiring a South Carolina supplier of medical products used by combat and civilian emergency responders.

Financial terms of the deal under which Melville-based Henry Schein will take a 93 percent stake in North American Rescue were not disclosed.

The acquisition of privately held NAR, with sales of about $184 million in the 12 months ended Oct. 31, expands Henry Schein's footprint in domestic and foreign military markets.

Shares of Henry Schein, Long Island's largest public company based on 2017 revenue of $12.5 billion, fell 0.75 percent to $76.90 in trading Wednesday.

 The company has operations or affiliates in 34 countries and provides products to dentists' and doctors' offices, laboratories and health care clinics.

"We look forward to expanding our medical group's geographic footprint, customer base and product offering both in the U.S. and overseas," Henry Schein chairman and CEO Stanley M. Bergman said in a statement.

NAR, based in Greer, South Carolina, specializes in providing products used to treat some causes of combat deaths, including bleeding, blocked airways and tension pneumothorax — when air becomes trapped in the chest cavity, often as a result of a lung injury.

In a Wednesday research note, Ross Muken, an analyst for Manhattan-based Evercore ISI, said the acquisition is "positive" for Henry Schein, adding about 7 percent to sales of its medical business.

"This should help to continue to diversify the company away from dental, which is likely to continue to suffer from a number of ... headwinds," he said.

In October 2017, Henry Schein won an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract to deliver surgical products to U.S. military and civilian agencies. That contract, worth up to $24.4 million, runs nine months, with eight one-year options and one 15-month option.

Bob Castellani, who founded NAR in 1996, will continue as NAR's CEO. The company has 105 employees. The federal government accounts for about 60 percent of NAR's sales.

The acquisition comes days before Henry Schein's scheduled Feb. 7 spinoff of its animal health business. After the spinoff, that business unit will merge with closely held Vets First Choice to form a new, publicly traded company called Covetrus Inc.

Covetrus, like Vets First Choice, will be based in Portland, Maine.

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