INVERNESS, Fla.—The Citrus County Hospital Board narrowed the bidding for its struggling Citrus Memorial Health System to three for-profit suitors. The board received five proposals from four bidders looking to take over the hospital, which is saddled with $80 million in debt and $30 million in underfunded pension liabilities. Initially, four bidders were vying for the 198-bed hospital: HCA, Nashville; RegionalCare Hospital Partners, Brentwood, Tenn.; Tampa (Fla.) General Hospital; and Health Management Associates, Naples, Fla., which submitted two proposals. The board eliminated Tampa General from the running. HMA's takeover bid, valued at $293 million, is the highest. It includes a purchase price of $120 million and a capital investment of $50 million. HMA also proposed structuring the deal as a joint venture, in a transaction that would be valued at $238 million. Both investor-owned chains have at least one hospital within 22 miles of Citrus Memorial, and the board's M&A consultant Josh Nemzoff noted in his presentation that antitrust concerns might be a consideration. For RegionalCare, its proposed $252 million deal would mark its first foray into Florida.