Private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice said it would buy healthcare and physician services company Emergency Medical Services Corp for a discount price of $3 billion.

The $64-a-share deal is 9 percent below EMS' closing price of $70.66 on Friday.

Shares of the company had surged some 30 percent since mid-December, when Emergency Medical said it was reviewing its strategic alternatives. They fell 10.5 percent to $63.25 in premarket trading after the deal was announced.

The company provides healthcare transportation services through its American Medical Response Inc unit, and provides physician services to healthcare facilities through its EmCare Holdings business.

The companies valued the deal at $3.2 billion on Monday. The deal would be worth about $2.82 billion, based on the number of shares outstanding according to the company's most recent quarterly filing.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

A source familiar with the matter had told Reuters on Sunday that Clayton, Dubilier & Rice was close to a deal for Emergency Medical.

Private equity firms are sitting on substantial capital to invest and scouring the market for companies to buy, but in some recent cases have found themselves outbid.

Rival private equity firm Bain Capital had also been pursuing Emergency Medical Services, a source familiar with the matter previously told Reuters.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. and BofA Merrill Lynch acted as financial advisers to EMS, while CD&R was advised by Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Morgan Stanley & Co., RBC Capital Markets and UBS Investment Bank.

(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf and Megan Davies, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)