SmithKline Beecham late Friday simultaneously announced the termination of merger talks with American Home Products Corp. and the initiation of merger negotiations with Glaxo Wellcome. A SmithKline-American Home merger would have created the world's largest drug company (Jan. 26, p. 24). Similarly, a SmithKline-Glaxo combination would enjoy the same recognition. Further details were unavailable.
PinnacleHealth, Harrisburg, Pa., is liable for more then $7 million in local real estate taxes for 1994 and 1995, according to a Pennsylvania appeals court. The Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg late last week upheld an earlier ruling by a Dauphin County Court that denied tax-exempt status during those years to Harrisburg Hospital and Polyclinic Medical Center, which merged to form PinnacleHealth in 1996. The lower court said buying physician practices disqualified the hospitals as public charities worthy of exemptions. PinnacleHealth said it will appeal the decision.
Two-hospital Cross River HealthCare, Kingston, N.Y., late last week disclosed plans to create a mergerlike partnership with 222-bed Benedictine Hospital, Kingston. The proposed affiliation would result in shared financial and operational responsibilities between Cross River's two secular hospitals and Benedictine, a Catholic hospital. Both organizations would maintain separate ownership. The deal would place all Kingston's hospital beds under common control.
The board of Apria Healthcare Group, Costa Mesa, Calif., late last week elected Ralph Whitworth, a representative of its largest shareholder, to a new director's seat in an effort to provide more direction to the troubled company. The addition increased the board's size to nine. Whitworth is a principal and manager of La Jolla, Calif.-based Relational Investors, which controls 10% of Apria's shares. Apria is considering options and an acquisition offer from New York-based Transworld HealthCare and other undisclosed suitors.