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Flint-based Diplomat Pharmacy Inc. acquired by a Minnesota company

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

A major Flint-based company has been bought by a Minnesota company.

UnitedHealth Group's OptumRx pharmacy care services unit announced Monday that it is acquiring Diplomat Pharmacy Inc. for $300 million.

Diplomat is the largest independent provider of specialty pharmacy services in the United States. It offers specialized medication and medication management programs for patients with complex and chronic conditions such as cancer, HIV and others.

"Diplomat has a proven track record of solving the unique challenges facing patients with complex health care needs,” said John Prince, chief executive officer of OptumRx.

Diplomat has been among the top 30 publicly traded companies based on revenues in Michigan. The company raised $173 million in aninitial public offering (IPO) in 2014.

But Diplomat became a takeover target after announcing in November it lost $177 million in the third quarter of the year.

At the time, company officials said there was "substantial doubt" it could stay afloat without "strategic alternatives" before the end of the year.  Specifically, company officials were looking for a buyer.

“Our Board of Directors carefully considered a variety of strategic options and concluded that joining OptumRx is in the best interests of our shareholders, employees and the clients and patients we serve,” said Brian Griffin, chairman and chief executive officer of Diplomat. 

It’s unclear how the sale will affect Diplomat’s Flint headquarters.

A Diplomat spokeswoman referred questions to OptumRx. OptumRx has not responded to requests for more information.   

The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce says more than 1,000 people work at Diplomat's headquarters on the city's south side.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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