Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Business

Report: Bayfront Hospital owner HMA considering buyout offer

The hospital chain that owns St. Petersburg's Bayfront Hospital, Naples-based Health Management Associates, was expected to meet late afternoon Monday to consider a proposed takeover offer from Community Health Systems Inc., another for-profit hospital system, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.

HMA bought Bayfront in April.

One "potential sticking point" cited by the Journal is the size of the cash component of any likely cash-and-stock bid, with HMA reportedly preferring an all-cash bid.

The story says Health Management directors must decide how to handle this week's retirement of chief executive office Gary D. Newsome, who earlier said he would retire to run a mission in South America for the Mormon Church. Any agreement also would have to deal with the ongoing battle between HMA and its largest shareholder, Glenview Capital Management, which currently wants to replace the hospital chain's board of directors.

Community Health, based in Franklin, Tenn., has been rumored for weeks to be interested in buying HMA. According to the Journal, "both have a largely rural focus, and the geographic footprints of their hospitals are fairly complementary."

HMA's 71 hospitals are concentrated in the Southeast. The acquisition would give Community Health a strong new position in Florida, the Journal said, where it currently has just two of its approximately 135 affiliated hospitals.

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