A New Hampshire foundation is suing HCA, Nashville, contending that the hospital chain is trying to go ahead with its $33 billion leveraged buyout deal without offering the foundation the right to repurchase Portsmouth (N.H.) Regional Hospital. The Foundation for Seacoast Health filed suit in Rockingham County Superior Court, asking a judge to block the leveraged buyout until the foundation has been able to exercise its first-refusal right. According to the lawsuit, the first-refusal right was part of the asset purchase agreement when HCA bought the hospital in 1983. The foundation was established with the sale proceeds. The foundation contends that the leveraged buyout will put pressure on local managers to cut staff and unprofitable programs. HCA has twice asserted in letters that the buyout deal does not trigger the first-refusal rights, according to the lawsuit. An HCA spokesman could not be reached at deadline. -- by Vince Galloro
N.H. group sues HCA over buyout
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