HCA, Nashville, is on the lookout for another Health Midwest, that is, an acquisition of a large, urban not-for-profit system with a leading position in a fast-growing market, according to Jack Bovender Jr., the companys chairman and chief executive officer. In 2003, HCA acquired nine-hospital Health Midwest, Kansas City, Mo., for $1.13 billion.
During a discussion of the companys first-quarter financial results, Bovender eagerly discussed the companys interest in a large-scale deal. We certainly would be interested in any large system in our kinds of markets, that is, growth markets, Bovender said. If we could find another Health Midwest, we would go for it big time. We are keeping our eyes and ears open.
HCA also is willing to divest hospitals if the price is right, but it is not central to the companys strategy of dealing with the debt from its $33 billion leveraged buyout, Bovender added. Since Sept. 1, 2006, the company has received proceeds of $1.13 billion from the sale of hospitals and $96.7 million in sales of medical office buildings and land, Bovender said. The leveraged buyout was announced in July 2006 and completed four months later.
HCA said its profits for the quarter were $170 million, down about 5.6% from $180 million in the year-ago quarter, mostly because of an increase in bad-debt expense. Revenue was up 6.7%, to $7.13 billion. HCA owns or operates 169 hospitals and 109 free-standing surgery centers in 20 states and the U.K. -- by Vince Galloro