Health equipment biz Apria moves HQ to Indy, lists stock with IPO

Apria Inc., one of the nation’s largest providers of home health equipment and services, is the latest Indianapolis company to go public, listing shares Thursday morning on the Nasdaq exchange.

The company priced its initial public offering of 7.5 million shares at $20. The stock is listed under the ticker APR.

In recent months, the company has been quietly moving its headquarters from its longtime home in the Los Angeles area to Indianapolis. Its new headquarters is 7353 Company Drive, near Emerson Avenue and Southport Road on the southeast side, a longtime site of the firm’s regional distribution center and a former call center.

Apria has about 50 employees in Indianapolis, down from a peak of 250 in 2014. CEO Dan Starck said he expects that number to rebound to about 100 within a year or so as more headquarters employees migrate to Indianapolis.

Starck said he wanted to move the company to a central location in a “business-friendly” state with fewer regulations than California.

The proceeds of $150 million will go to Blackstone Group, an investment management company based in New York that bought Apria in 2008. Blackstone still owns about 95% of Apria, but plans to sell its shares gradually and exit the company, Starck said.

Apria provides oxygen tanks, nebulizers, obstructive sleep apnea treatment and wound therapy equipment to patients in their homes. It also provides respiratory therapists and other health specialists to visit patients at home.

Apria has about 275 locations in the United States that serve about 2 million patients a year. It rang up $1.1 billion in revenue in 2019.

The company was formed in 1995 from the merger of two home health care companies, Homedco Group and Abbey Healthcare. The name Apria is Latin for “new beginnings.”

The offering marks the first traditional IPO involving an Indianapolis-area company since Elanco Animal Health in 2018. Several other local companies have launched special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, a nontraditional and trendy way to take companies public, since then.

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