Province Healthcare, a hospital chain serving primarily nonurban markets, went public last week with an initial public offering of 4.7 million shares of common stock at $16 per share.
The Brentwood, Tenn.-based company expects the IPO to generate net proceeds of $67.4 million, which will be used to redeem the company's preferred stock and to repay debt incurred from hospital acquisitions, said Richard Gore, its executive vice president and chief financial officer. The company stock is traded on the NASDAQ exchange.
"At this point, the market is an inexpensive source of capital," said Martin Rash, Province's president and chief executive officer.
Province owns or leases eight acute-care hospitals in four states with a total of 570 licensed beds. The company also manages 50 hospitals in 17 states with a total of 3,448 licensed beds.
Province focuses on nonurban community hospitals to expand the range of services provided in those areas, Rash said. The company plans to add two to four hospitals a year.
Province was formed in February 1996 when Nashville-based Principal Hospital Co. acquired Portland, Ore.-based Brim's healthcare group.
Province announced its plans to go public last fall (Nov. 24, 1997, p. 14).