Ardent Health Services, Nashville, agreed to sell its 20 psychiatric hospitals to Psychiatric Solutions, Franklin, Tenn., for $500 million in cash and $60 million in Psychiatric Solutions stock in a deal expected to close in the second quarter, the companies said. The sale, subject to regulatory approvals, would complete the transformation of the former Behavioral Healthcare Corp. into an acute-care hospital company. The makeover began in 2001 when Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe bought a majority interest in the company and hired former Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. executive David Vandewater to run it, adopting the name Ardent.
Ardent said the sale would allow it to retire debt and pay for capital projects, including a $50 million hospital in the Tulsa, Okla., area and expansion of cardiovascular services in the Albuquerque and Tulsa markets. Ardent said its 14 acute-care hospitals, which would remain with the company, generate about $1.8 billion in annual revenue. Psychiatric Solutions said the deal would make it the largest provider of inpatient psychiatric services in the country, with 54 psychiatric hospitals. The 20 hospitals in the deal generate about $300 million in annual revenue, Psychiatric Solutions said. -- by Vince Galloro