West Florida Healthcare, a unit of Nashville-based HCA, said it terminated the proposed sale of its 339-bed West Florida Hospital, Pensacola, Fla., to Baptist Health Care Corp., Pensacola, because Baptist Health was unable to finance the $245 million deal. Baptist and HCA agreed to the sale in June 2008, contingent on Baptist obtaining financing and regulatory approvals, including antitrust clearance. The regulatory approvals were obtained, according to West Florida Healthcare.
Acquiring West Florida Hospital would have given Baptist control of two of the three general acute-care hospitals in Pensacola. St. Louis-based Ascension Health, a Roman Catholic system, operates the third hospital in the city, 458-bed Sacred Heart Hospital of Pensacola. Baptist confirmed in a statement that it was unable to obtain financing because of widespread instability in the credit markets.
The scuttling of the deal denies HCA of a pot of cash amid tight credit markets. The company announced in November 2008 that it will convert an interest payment due in May into new debt, saving the company $144 million in cash. by Vince Galloro