Eight-hospital SunLink Health Systems, Atlanta, said Attentus Healthcare, Franklin, Tenn., has raised its bid for SunLink by 25% to $5 per share, and the SunLink board has authorized management to negotiate a confidentiality agreement so further discussions can take place. SunLink, however, reiterated that it is not for sale and that it believes the best option for shareholders is to continue with its present business plan. Richard Gore, co-chief executive officer of Attentus, said a confidentiality agreement would allow his company to make a formal proposal to SunLink's board. Attentus owns no hospitals but has raised $77 million from outside investors.
In other acquisitions news, InSight Health Services Corp., Lake Forest, Calif., bought 21 diagnostic imaging centers in Arizona, California, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia from Cardinal Health, Dublin, Ohio. Negotiations continue over a 22nd center. Terms weren't disclosed, but announcing the deal in February, InSight said the purchase price was $48.3 million, including $12.7 million for debt and transaction costs. InSight operates 114 free-standing imaging centers and 117 mobile facilities. -- by Vince Galloro and Julie Piotrowski