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Rockford Health ends takeover talks with Cadence


By Beth Kutscher
Posted: January 31, 2014 - 4:30 pm ET
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Rockford (Ill.) Health System has ended takeover discussions with suitor Cadence Health, a two-hospital system in Winfield, Ill.

The two systems signed a letter of intent in November. Spokespeople for both organizations declined to comment on why the deal fell apart.

“In many respects, we are like-minded organizations,” Rockford President and CEO Gary Kaatz said in a news release. “However, as we moved forward in our discussions, it became clear that we would not be able to arrive at an agreement that would provide mutual benefit to both the Rockford community and to the Cadence organization. After deeper review, we recognized that our strategic imperatives did not align.”

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Cadence President and CEO Mike Vivoda similarly praised Rockford's “clinical excellence” and “commitment to quality,” noting that both organizations are in strong financial health.

“We realized, though, that we have some differences that would prevent us from aligning our operational strategies,” he said in the release.

This is the second deal that Rockford has had to abandon. In April 2012, it walked away from a merger with OSF Healthcare System in Peoria, Ill., after the Federal Trade Commission challenged the deal.

In a November interview, Kaatz said Rockford had worked with Navigant Consulting to select Cadence from a field of nine bidders. The system, which includes 297-bed Rockford Memorial Hospital, a physicians group and other assets, saw a “great deal of interest,” even more than it had anticipated, he added.

A spokeswoman for Rockford declined to comment on how the system will proceed with its partnership search.

Follow Beth Kutscher on Twitter: @MHbkutscher


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