The Kansas Supreme Court dealt a blow to Health Midwest, Kansas City, Mo., denying the system's request for an expedited hearing that would have helped it close its $1.1 billion sale to HCA, Nashville, before a March 31 deadline. "It is a disappointing ruling, but by no means the end of the game," a Health Midwest spokesman said. Under dispute is the distribution of sale proceeds between Kansas and Missouri, the states in which Health Midwest operates. HCA Chairman and CEO Jack Bovender Jr. said he was not aware of the ruling but he believed the issues would be resolved by the states' attorneys general in time for the deal to close by the deadline. Under terms of the contract, HCA can walk away from the deal or renegotiate the price if it is not completed by the end of March. Although a Kansas district court approved the sale, it issued an injunction preventing Health Midwest from merging its Kansas and Missouri operations for the purpose of the sale and ruled that 20% of the sale proceeds must go to a Kansas foundation. -- by Patrick Reilly and Vince Galloro
Health Midwest loses bid for expedited hearing
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