APRIA: Cancels Partner Search And Kicks Five Off Board
Costa Mesa-based Apria Healthcare Group Inc.'s board of directors Wednesday voted "to call off the company's search for a possible merger partner and press ahead as an independent company," the Los Angeles Times reports. And at the end of the four-hour meeting, Ralph Whitworth, who replaced George Argyros last month as chair "of the nation's largest home health care company," urged five directors of the company to resign, including Argyros and Frederick Moseley, both of whom "were involved in potential bids for the company." Other directors resigning voluntarily were former Apria CEO Jeremy Jones, PacifiCare Health Systems Chair Terry Hartshorn and Vincent Prager. Whitworth said "the resignations 'allow us to reconfigure the board so that it functions better,'" and blamed the company's previous financial troubles "on a board that had been split ever since Apria was formed in the 1995 merger of ... Homedco Group Inc. and Abbey Healthcare Group Inc."
The Times reports that the company's board "has shrunk to six members," and "will reach out to shareholders for nominees of possible new directors" by its annual meeting on July 28. Apria's shares "rose 13 cents, to $9, in New York Stock Exchange trading" Wednesday (Marsh, 5/28).