Healthcare Business News

Regional News/South: Struggling SunLink planning to dump at least two of its hospitals, and other news

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: February 9, 2013 - 12:01 am ET

ATLANTA—SunLink Health Systems is planning to delist its shares and sell underperforming facilities. All four of its hospitals are currently underperforming and it has hired advisers to evaluate the sale of at least two of them, the system said in a news release. SunLink's hospitals are 31-bed Callaway Community Hospital, Fulton, Mo.; 49-bed Chestatee Regional Hospital, Dahlonega, Ga.; 150-bed North Georgia Medical Center, Ellijay; and 61-bed Trace Regional Hospital, Houston, Miss. The company said it would use the proceeds of the sales to fund its working capital needs, noting that it has been unable to raise sufficient capital in the debt or equity markets on “acceptable terms.” SunLink last year sold two of its hospitals—Dexter (Mo.) Hospital and Memorial Hospital of Adel (Ga.)—to help pay down debt. The company reported a net loss of $1.42 million for the first quarter of its fiscal 2013 and has reported a net loss in four of its past five quarters. Although it finished fiscal 2012 in the black, the company recorded a 5% decrease in consolidated net revenue compared with the previous year. SunLink said in its news release that it plans to pay cash to buy up outstanding shares from holders of 99 or fewer shares; it is offering $1.50 per share plus a $100 bonus upon completion of the tender offer. The company, which has a market capitalization of $10.8 million, needs to reduce its shareholders to fewer than 300 in order to delist.

—Beth Kutscher

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MEMPHIS, Tenn.—Acadia Healthcare Co., Franklin, Tenn., is further expanding its portfolio with a second acquisition this year. The publicly traded behavioral healthcare company, which has seen its share price double during the past 12 months, said it has purchased 170-bed Delta Medical Center, Memphis, which offers psychiatric and general acute-care services. Terms were not disclosed. In a news release, Acadia Chairman and CEO Joey Jacobs said the deal “gives us the opportunity to treat acute inpatient psychiatric patients with medical complications.” While many of Delta's beds are for acute inpatient psychiatric patients, the medical center also offers services such as cardiology, hyperbaric wound care, sleep studies, surgery and an emergency department. Acadia forged its first deal last month with a not-for-profit organization, acquiring a psychiatric hospital from South Georgia Medical Center, Valdosta. Kevin Campbell, a managing director at Avondale Partners, said in a note to clients that the two acquisitions show Acadia's willingness to pursue deals that move beyond its traditional interest in for-profit, acute inpatient psychiatric facilities and residential treatment centers. He said Delta generated between $30 million and $50 million in total revenue for its fiscal 2012, which ended in March, and posted an operating loss of $2 million.

—Beth Kutscher

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