Healthcare Marketer Acquires Kaiser Pharmacy Unit

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Healthcare marketer The Arrow Corp., Farmington, CT, announced this week its third key acquisition since November with the purchase of 14 pharmacies from the Northeast Division of Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, CA, bringing the privately held company's total retail pharmacy and nutritional practice operation to 122 stores in 15 states.

Arrow president/CEO Ed A. Mercadante said the move was simply part of the company's ongoing growth strategy for the year 2000. "This latest acquisition allows us to exceed our revenue and unit goals for 1999. [And] we expect to see continued growth in sales and earnings over the next three years through an increase in Internet business and a combination of organic expansion and new store acquisitions."

Mercadante characterizes Arrow, which owns, as a company with strong relationships in the financial community, but one that is exploring all options for meeting future capital needs. "We now have a national presence [with] the fastest-growing pharmacy Web sites on the Internet that are attracting more than 100,000 virtual customers monthly."

Last December, Arrow acquired a chain of 18 stores from Super Sav-On Drug, Amory, MS, along with 16 pharmacies owned by KPC Medical Management, Riverside, CA. With its Kaiser, KPC and Sav-On acquisitions, and the growth of its online store, Arrow hopes to become one of the largest, fully integrated pharmaceutical and nutraceutical consumer-delivery companies. The company says its latest purchase is expected to result in combined transactions of more than $100 million in sales, increasing its annual revenues by 94 percent to $250 million for 1999. "We want the patient to be able to visit the doctor, fill a prescription onsite and then log onto the Internet for refills, nonprescription products, and healthcare information and recommendations," Mercadante said.

Kaiser Permanente remains the nation's largest not-for-profit health-maintenance organization, with approximately 8.6 million members in 12 states and the District of Columbia.

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