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Edge Healthcare Advises Axium Pharmacy in Sale to Kroger Co.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – Edge Healthcare Partners is pleased to announce that The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) has acquired the outstanding shares of Axium Pharmacy Holdings, Inc. (“Axium” or the “Company”), a leading national specialty pharmacy, to create a merger of the two companies. Axium will continue to operate as an independent company within the Kroger family and will be led by current Axium CEO Mark Montgomery and other members of existing management. The transaction closed on December 6, 2012. No financial terms were disclosed. Edge Healthcare Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor to Axium.

 ”The specialty pharmacy sector is undergoing a period of significant growth. As one of the leading and most dynamic providers in this sector, Axium is very well positioned to continue its growth trajectory by delivering enhanced value to patients, payers and pharmaceutical manufacturers as part of the Kroger family,” said Todd Watkins, Partner of Edge Healthcare Partners. “The combination of these two businesses will allow Axium to leverage the scale of a national pharmacy provider while expanding the reach of its specialty pharmacy services to a broader customer base, and ultimately will increase quality and access to healthcare for both Axium and Kroger patients.”

 Headquartered in Lake Mary, Florida, Axium is one of the nation’s largest independent providers of specialty pharmacy services, offering a range of clinical services to patients with rare and complex chronic conditions. Through its pharmacy locations in Florida, Puerto Rico, Tennessee and Mississippi, Axium provides comprehensive specialty pharmacy services to patients throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Axium was a portfolio company of Carousel Capital which partnered with Mark Montgomery and other members of management to complete a management buyout in 2006.

 Carousel Capital is a private investment firm that invests in companies located in the Southeastern United States. Carousel’s investor base includes institutional investors and an elite group of more than 100 current and former CEOs with significant operating experience. Since its inception, Carousel has invested in 29 companies primarily in three targeted growth sectors: business services; consumer products and services; and healthcare services.

 The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), one of the world’s largest retailers, employs more than 339,000 associates who serve customers in 2,425 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s. The company also operates 788 convenience stores, 342 fine jewelry stores, 1,124 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 160 million meals a year through more than 80 Feeding America food bank partners. A leader in supplier diversity, Kroger is a proud member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber’s Million Dollar Club.

Edge Healthcare Partners, LLC is an independent Atlanta based investment banking firm focused on providing merger and acquisition services to leading private and public healthcare companies and private equity firms.  Edge Healthcare Partners also assists companies with raising capital for growth, acquisitions, recapitalizations, going-private and management buy-out transactions.  In addition to transactional advisory services, Edge Healthcare Partners also provide valuations, fairness opinions and other financial and strategic advisory services.  The professionals of Edge Healthcare Partners have over 50 years of collective investment banking experience and have completed more than 100 transactions across the entire spectrum of healthcare including healthcare services, healthcare information technology, distribution and life sciences.  Securities are offered through Edge Corporate Finance, Member FINRA, SIPC.  For more information, visit our website, www.edgehealthcarepartners.com.