Fairview Health Services, Minneapolis, has entered into merger talks with Sanford Health, a rapidly expanding South Dakota health system.
The deal would combine two organizations of roughly similar size and accelerate Sanford Health's expansion into Minnesota.
Ryan Davenport, a spokesman for Fairview, said in a statement that talks were preliminary and officials had discussed a possible deal with Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson.
A spokesman for Minnesota's attorney general could not be reached at deadline. Swanson told the Minneapolis Star Tribune she would schedule public hearings on the possible takeover of Fairview, which includes the University of Minnesota's teaching hospital, by a South Dakota health system.
Sanford Health President and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft said in a statement that it was “unfortunate” that Swanson characterized the talks that way in an interview with the Star Tribune's editorial board.
“Both Systems have found a unique affinity and early trust, but the complex and a significant process to actually achieve a merger, or combination of similarly sized large organizations must be thoughtfully and carefully done,” Krabbenhoft said.