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HARRIS WHOLESALE ACQUIRED BY GENERAL MEDICAL

Executive Summary

HARRIS WHOLESALE ACQUIRED BY GENERAL MEDICAL hospital supply firm in a deal finalized on December 9. Under the agreement, engineered by New York investor Richard Bernstein, Harris will be acquired by Bernstein's company RAB Holding which had previously purchased General Medical from Whittaker in April 1987. RAB Holding also controls a medical and surgical supplies manufacturer and a financial services company. Under the acquisition agreement, Harris and General Medical will remain autonomous organizations with no expected changes in management. Both Harris and General Medical were privately held. Bernstein bought General Medical after Whittaker put the hospital supply division up for auction in August 1986. The Richmond, Va.-based General Medical currently has 43 distribution centers nationwide, with two recently established in Seattle, Wash. and Phoenix, Ariz. In a recent report by the research and consulting firm SRI International, Solon, Ohio-based Harris was identified as the fifth largest drug wholesaler with almost $1 bil in sales in fiscal year ending April 30, 1987. However, in a development which could reduce sales volume, Harris - previously a prime vendor for Voluntary Hospitals of America Supply Company - was excluded from a VHA Supply list of chosen "authorized distribution agents" for the next six years ("The Pink Sheet" Sept. 26, p. 3).
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