Two months after Medical Care America sold its struggling home-infusion line to Caremark International, its board of directors appears to have fought off Surgical Care Affiliates' attempts to buy the Dallas-based outpatient surgery company-at least for now.
"We haven't heard anything from Surgical Care (since the Critical Care America sale)," said Medical Care Vice President Jonathan Bond. "We feel that we addressed shareholder desire to maximize share-holder value with the Critical Care transaction."
SCA Chairman Joel Gordon agreed, saying, "It's a dead issue. We have no negotiations with Medical Care at this time."
SCA is still interested in pursuing joint ventures with other healthcare organizations. However, no agreements have yet been completed, he said.
Medical Care was approached last October by Mr. Gordon, who initially offered to buy it in a deal valued at $950 million (Nov. 1, 1993, p. 16).
Medical Care's board immediately rejected SCA's offer, prompting an outcry from angry shareholders who were eager to continue negotiations with SCA. And while Medical Care President Donald Steen reopened the company's books to SCA, Medical Care subsequently chose to satisfy shareholders and remain independent by selling off Critical Care to Caremark for $175 million in cash (Jan. 24, p. 6). The Critical Care sale is expected to be completed sometime in April.
Mr. Bond said Medical Care now intends to concentrate on its outpatient surgery centers, specifically developing regional affiliations with hospitals. Last October, the company announced plans to invest $100 million to further a regional affiliation agreement with Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. in metropolitan markets in Florida and Texas.
Nonetheless, some analysts say SCA still maintains some hopes of purchasing Medical Care America.
"I think Surgical Care is still interested," said Aaron Shackelford, a healthcare investment analyst with Dallas-based Principal/Eppler, Guerin and Turner. "Not right now, but perhaps in a year from now. But at this point, it is a dead issue."