LettersI would like to clarify comments made in a recent article ("Paracelsus merger fattens execs' wallets," July 15, p. 20) that could mislead readers unacquainted with all the facts.
Contrary to the characterization in the article, the $21 million dividend payment to Manfred G. Krukemeyer, M.D., was not extraordinary, excessive or unusual. It was simply a function of the total merger valuation-and consideration-as independently determined by a team of the nation's leading investment banking firms.
In addition, the Champion Healthcare Corp. executives referred to in the article had employment contracts providing each the contractual right to resign voluntarily following a change of control (which the merger represented) and receive significant severance pay. It was Paracelsus' view that assuring retention of these executives was critical to the company and its shareholders. The payments cited in the article were not special bonuses but in fact represented consideration in exchange for their agreeing to surrender legitimate contractual rights that had a dollar value exceeding the amounts they were paid.
DEBORAH H. FRANKOVICH
Vice president, treasurer, director of investor relations
Paracelsus Healthcare Corp., Houston