A startup company that intends to buy struggling hospitals around the country has signed a letter of intent with St. Louis-based SSM Health Care for what would be its first purchase: 248-bed St. Francis Hospital & Health Center in Blue Island, Ill.
The suitor is for-profit Transition Healthcare Co., Nashville, along with its financial partner is Lincolnshire Management, a New York-based private-equity firm. The notification that the parties filed with the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board identifies the maximum price as $65 million, including assumption of debt.
SSM announced in June that it would seek a buyer for St. Francis, which had lost $40 million in five years. The system blamed the hospitals failure to thrive in part on the state planning boards refusal to permit St. Francis to build a sister hospital in a more affluent Chicago suburb, a project officials hoped would give St. Francis a better footing. St. Francis had sought administrative review of the boards decision, but the application has been formally withdrawn in light of the pending sale.
Transition Healthcare is led by Chief Executive Officer Arnold Kimmel, who is based in Chicago. Kimmel previously was interim CEO of Catholic Health Partners in Chicago and supply chain CEO for Ascension Health. He said his Transition Healthcare partners, whom he declined to name, are financial and transaction people, very experienced in hospital and health systems management. -- by Gregg Blesch
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