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Troubled Apria’s Shares Rise as Firm’s Future Is Pondered

<i> Times Staff and Wire Reports</i>

Stock of Apria Healthcare Group Inc. edged up Tuesday, as directors of the loss-ridden home health care giant met to discuss a possible plan by chairman George L. Argyros to take the company private.

The Costa Mesa company made no announcement after the meeting, but a representative of the company said the results of the meeting might be disclosed when Apria issues its first-quarter financial results today.

Apria shares closed Tuesday at $7.88, up 25 cents, in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Argyros, a prominent Orange County real estate developer and Apria’s largest individual shareholder, may lead an effort to seek control of the company, according to documents filed Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A complete buyout would cost about $422 million at the current stock price. Argyros has about a 5.4% stake in the company.

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Sources said that such a move might be led by Westar Capital, a Costa Mesa investment firm in which Argyros holds the largest interest.


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