Chemed Company History Timeline

1970

Roto-Rooter's corporate lethargy ended in 1970, when another of S.O. Blanc's sons-in-law, Henry Peterson, advanced from secretary to president.

1971

In 1971 Grace management transformed its specialty chemicals group, which included the DuBois Chemicals Division, into the Chemed Corporation.

In 1971 Grace management transformed its specialty chemicals group, which included the DuBois Chemicals Division, into the Chemed Corporation, which had been incorporated as a Grace subsidiary the previous year.

1975

Peterson had actually begun researching the sale of the company in 1975, but was impeded by litigation and reorganization concerns from concentrating on the issue.

1978

VITAS had been founded in 1978 as the single-site Hospice of Miami and had subsequently expanded beyond Florida as Hospice Care, Inc.

1980

In July 1980 Chemed acquired Roto-Rooter Corp. for $23 million in cash and stock.

By the time Chemed purchased the company in 1980, Roto-Rooter has become the leading supplier of sewer and drain cleaning services across America.

One of Chemed's operating units was the Roto-Rooter plumbing services company, which had been acquired in 1980.

In 1980 Peterson was able to negotiate a $23 million cash/stock deal with Chemed Corporation.

1981

In 1981 Chemed established Omnicare, Inc., a company designed to supply pharmacy management services and distribute dental and medical supplies.

Roto-Rooter had made its first reach into plumbing services in 1981; by mid-decade this sideline was contributing about 10 percent of annual sales.

1982

This transaction allowed Chemed to become a totally autonomous, independent corporation. It was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1982.

1983

In October 1983 Chemed acquired National Sanitary Supply Company.

By the time the company was purchased by Chemed in 1983, National had become the largest distributor of sanitary maintenance supplies in America.

1984

Chemed made a private placement of 15 percent of Roto-Rooter's stock in 1984 and raised $12.5 million in an initial public offering of another 23 percent stake the following year.

1986

Roto-Rooter acquired Apollo Heating & Air Conditioning Inc., an Ohio service company, in 1986, but when the division did not pan out, it was sold to its management team.

Just as it had with Roto-Rooter, Chemed took National public in 1986, retaining a controlling majority stake.

1990

By 1990 the Veratex Group ranked third in America's dressings and sponge market on the strength of its sales of over 800 different kinds of proprietary disposable paper, gauze, and cotton products to professionals working in the veterinary, medical, and dental fields.

Sequoia provided services for more than 200 nursing homes, and by 1990 it represented over 20 percent of Omnicare revenues.

In 1990, a year when revenues from the company's plumbing services increased 26 percent, the firm introduced a revolutionary drain and sewer cleaning product that broke down organic waste by biological means and converted it into water and harmless carbon dioxide.

Although DuBois was the largest revenue and profit-generating division within Chemed, with sales of $275 million in 1990 and 2,800 employees, management thought it best to sell its flagship operation in order to refocus the company's priorities.

By 1990 the Veratex Group ranked third in the United States dressings and sponge market on the strength of its sales of over 800 different kinds of proprietary disposable paper, gauze, and cotton products to professionals working in the veterinary, medical, and dental fields.

1994

In January 1994 Chemed acquired Patient Care, Inc. for about $20.6 million.

Kevin J. McNamara, who had served as company president since August 1994, was named president and CEO. It was McNamara, then, who oversaw the final steps in the transformation of Chemed from a conglomerate to a company focused on service businesses, principally Roto-Rooter.

Sales for Veratex amounted to over $95 million in 1994, but growing competition within the industry and significant changes in the healthcare industry forced the Veratex Group to reduce its work force and cut operating expenses.

In 1994 the company expanded the number of its service technicians by 15 percent.

Sales for Veratex amounted to over $95 million in 1994, but growing competition within the industry and significant changes in the healthcare industry forced the Veratex Group to reduce its workforce and cut operating expenses.

These operations were combined in 1994 under the Service America trademark.

The company still had 550 independent franchisees, but these businesses contributed only $6 million of the 1994 revenues.

By 1994, meantime, Roto-Rooter had purchased 80 of its largest franchisees.

1995

Continuing its shift to services, Chemed in July 1995 sold its Veratex Retail division, which sold medical products by mail order and through catalogs, to Henry Schein, Inc.

In 1995 the company offered more than 10,000 products used to clean and maintain all types of commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities.

In the meantime, Chemed in mid-1995 made an offer to buy the 42 percent of Roto-Rooter it did not already own.

1997

The Veratex Group itself, renamed the Omnia Group, was then sold to Banta Corporation in September 1997 for $50 million in cash and $2.3 million in deferred payments.

2001

Edward Hutton had led Chemed through its many transformations, and he finally gave up the CEO post in May 2001 at the age of 82.

2002

In October 2002 Chemed sold Patient Care to an investor group for about $70 million.

While about 80 percent of the corporation's revenues in 2002 were derived from the plumbing services operations, subsidiary Service America Systems, Inc. generated the remainder.

Thanks to the divestments, revenues fell further in 2002, settling in at $314.2 million.

During 2002 Roto-Rooter diversified by launching a branded line of drain-care products through more than 3,500 retail outlets, including grocery stores and the three main United States discounters, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Target Corporation, and Kmart Corporation.

2003

Monk, Dan, "Roto-Rooter: A Local Board in Transition," Cincinnati Business Courier, August 25, 2003.

By its fiscal year ending in September 2003, VITAS had more than 5,700 professionals caring for more than 7,900 terminally ill patients on a daily basis; the firm recorded revenues of $420 million.

Daly, Brenon, "Roto-Rooter Grows Hospice Holdings," Daily Deal, December 22, 2003.

2021

"Roto-Rooter, Inc. ." International Directory of Company Histories. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 15, 2021). https://www.encyclopedia.com/books/politics-and-business-magazines/roto-rooter-inc

Founded
1970
Company Founded
Headquarters
Cincinnati, OH
Company Headquarter

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