Medirec, a privately held Salt Lake company that rents specialized medical equipment nationwide, has been acquired by Kinetic Concepts Inc. of San Antonio.

KCI purchased the outstanding shares of Medirec for $26 million in cash and $10 million in KCI securities.Founded in 1977, Medirec rents to hospitals a wide variety of portable patient care equipment, including monitors, fluid delivery systems, ventilators and physical therapy equipment. Medirec has more than 26,000 pieces of equipment available for rent.

Terry Kerr, KCI's vice president of corporate relations, said Med-irec's Salt Lake operation will not be effected by the acquisition. "We're going to keep that operation intact. It will operate as a free-standing subsidiary of the company," Kerr said Friday.

Medirec employs about 110 people in Utah, approximately half at its corporate offices and the remainder in its equipment maintenance and repair facility at the Salt Lake International Center. Medirec operates about 40 distribution centers nationwide.

KCI manufacturers and distributes specialized therapy beds in about 160 locations nationwide.