Community Health Systems, Brentwood, Tenn., expanded its borrowing capacity and lengthened its debt maturities with an amended and restated bank-lending facility of $1.63 billion. The added financial flexibility will allow the company to continue making acquisitions, said Larry Cash, executive vice president and chief financial officer. The revolving portion of the facility was increased by $75 million, to $425 million, and the term-loan portion by $166 million, to $1.2 billion. A provision allows for an additional $400 million in term-loan debt. Fitch Ratings rated the debt BB, just below investment grade. In Community's favor: its business model, experienced management and successful acquisition track record. Offsetting factors are the company's reliance on acquisitions to fuel growth and industrywide concerns such as shortages of nurses and other skilled labor, high bad-debt expense, weaker-than-expected volume trends and the sustainability of reimbursement increases from private payers, Fitch said. -- by Vince Galloro
Bank deal lets Community continue acquisitions
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