, an investor-owned hospital chain, is not for sale, according to its incoming president and CEO.
Michael Wiechart, currently senior VP and chief operating officer, steps into the position Jan. 1
, succeeding Dan Slipkovich, who co-founded the company in 2005 and will continue as executive board chairman.
Franklin, Tenn.-based Capella has been a rumored takeover target since a Reuters report in September said its private equity owner, GTCR, had hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch to explore a sale of the company
“Our goal around the leadership change has nothing to do with that speculation and is really about the growth of the company,” Wiechart said. “There are no plans for the sale of the company at this time.”
The company has previously declined to address rumors of a possible sale, except to say that it “must be open to exploring all opportunities.”
Wiechart said Capella will ramp up its own acquisition strategy as a buyer and is preparing for the increased challenges and opportunities that will come with expanded insurance coverage.
The for-profit hospital sector has experienced significant consolidation this year. Tenet Healthcare Corp. closed its $1.8 billion acquisition of Vanguard Health Systems
on Oct. 1, while Community Health Systems
has a $3.9 billion offer on the table for Health Management Associates
that is awaiting shareholder and regulatory approval
.Follow Beth Kutscher on Twitter: @MHbkutscher