Roto-Rooter Inc., parent company of Roto-Rooter and Service America Network, recently acquired Miami-based VITAS Healthcare Corp., a pioneer of the hospice movement and the nation's largest provider of end-of-life care. Roto-Rooter currently owns about 37 percent of VITAS outstanding common shares. It will acquire the portion of VITAS not already owned by its Comfort Care Holdings subsidiary for nearly $410 million in cash. Under the merger agreement, VITAS shareholders will receive cash of $30 per share. The merger is expected to close mid-March.

VITAS reported revenue of more than $420 million in 2003. It operates 25 hospice programs in eight states.

Roto-Rooter Inc., formerly Chemed Corp., has had other medical holdings in the past.