Community Health Systems, Franklin, Tenn., has another hospital sale lined up, as the company has signed a nonbinding letter of intent with Summa Health System, Akron, Ohio, to negotiate the sale of Barberton (Ohio) Citizens Hospital. This potential deal is the fourth divestiture to arise for Community since it acquired Triad Hospitals, Plano, Texas, in July for $6.97 billion. No terms were disclosed.
Community owns a 93.5% stake in Barberton Citizens Hospital, with Summa and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation each owning 3.25% stakes. Summa is interested in the hospital as part of its strategy to seek growth outside of Akron, Summa spokesman Mike Bernstein said. Barberton is a good fit because many physicians who practice at Barberton also practice at one of Summas three hospitals, and many Barberton patients seek care in its Akron hospitals, Bernstein said.
Summa is conducting due diligence on the hospital, which officials expect to complete by years end, at which time they anticipate finalizing a definitive agreement to buy Communitys stake in the hospital, Bernstein said. If a deal is completed, he added, Summa intends to retain the leadership and staffing levels of the hospital. -- by Vince Galloro