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KKR to acquire Envision Healthcare's ambulance unit for $2.4B

Envision Healthcare Corp. agreed to sell its ambulance business to KKR & Co. LP for $2.4 billion in cash.

KKR plans to merge American Medical Response with its medical helicopter operator business, Air Medical Group, with the resulting company adopting a new name. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and scheduled to close during the fourth quarter of 2017.

The announcement comes less than a week after KKR said it was taking PharMerica Corp. private in a $1.4 billion buy.

The combined company is expected to transport more than 5 million patients per year through a fleet of air and ground ambulances across 46 states and the District of Columbia.

Envision's President of Ambulatory Affairs, Randel Owen, will head the new company as president and CEO, joined by Air Medical Group CFO Michael Preissler who will retain the same position in the combined unit.

Fred Buttrell will continue as president and CEO of the Air Medical division, while Edward Van Horne will retain his position as the president and CEO of the American Medical Response division.

The merger is subject to customary closing conditions and clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and is expected to close in the fourth-quarter of 2017.

Guggenheim Securities is acting as the exclusive financial adviser to Envision, with Bass Berry & Sims acting as its legal adviser.

Barclays is acting as Air Medical Group Holdings' financial adviser and Simpson Thacher & Barlett LLP is acting as legal adviser to the company.