Rural/Metro Corp. (NASDAQ: RURL), one of the nation's largest ambulance services, will be acquired and taken private by the investment banking firm Warburg Pincus for about $438.2 million, according to several news reports.
Under the terms of the deal, Rural/Metro shareholders would receive $17.25 a share, or a 37 percent premium over the share's trading value as of late March. The Rural/Metro board unanimously approved the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of June.
"The Board believes that this transaction is an exceptional opportunity for Rural/Metro's shareholders," said Rural/Metro Chair Christopher Shackelton. "We have worked diligently to maximize the long-term value in the business, and are pleased that our shareholders are being rewarded for their trust in the company's vision, business plan and management."
The company, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., operates ambulance services in 20 states, serving about 440 communities. It has 8,000 employees.
Warburg Pincus owns pharmaceutical company Bausch & Lomb, but has no other major stakes in healthcare ventures.