LifePoint Hospitals, Brentwood, Tenn., said it signed a definitive agreement to purchase four HCA hospitals in rural West Virginia and one in rural Virginia for $285 million and working capital. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. It would be the second big deal in recent months for LifePoint, which bought 20-hospital Province Healthcare Co. for $1.7 billion in April. LifePoint, which was spun off from HCA six years ago, operates 52 hospitals largely in nonurban areas. Kenneth Donahey, LifePoint's president and chief executive officer, said in a news release that the five HCA hospitals fit the company's business strategy and will help "expand our presence in West Virginia and Virginia, which have proven to be good places for LifePoint to do business."
The West Virginia hospitals are: 188-bed St. Joseph's Hospital, Parkersburg; 155-bed St. Francis Hospital, Charleston; 225-bed Raleigh General Hospital, Beckley; and 68-bed Putnam General Hospital, Hurricane. The deal also includes 200-bed Clinch Valley Medical Center, Richlands, Va. -- by Michael Romano