Cottage Health System, Santa Barbara, Calif., has agreed to acquire neighboring St. Francis Medical Center from Catholic Healthcare West, San Francisco, as part of a massive expansion. Cottage, which owns three hospitals in Santa Barbara County, plans to tear down 85-bed St. Francis and use the seven-acre property for new employee housing. The deal is expected to close by June 30, pending approval from the state attorney general. Terms were not disclosed. St. Francis has recorded $12 million in operating losses since being acquired by CHW in 1997. CHW has been seeking a buyer for the facility since August 2001. Cottage is in the second year of a $350 million renovation and expansion project at 336-bed Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. -- by Laura B. Benko
Buyer to tear down struggling Calif. hospital
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