Community Health Systems still expects to own Health Management Associates within the next six months in spite of developments on two fronts that could extend the review period for the transaction between the two investor-owned chains. The Federal Trade Commission requested additional documents related to the acquisition in what's known as a second request, Community said in a news release that downplayed the action as “anticipated.” The Franklin, Tenn.-based company and Naples, Fla.-based HMA overlap in 15 states, including three—Alabama, Florida and Oklahoma—where they operate hospitals within 20 miles of one another. Wayne Smith, Community's president and CEO, previously told Modern Healthcare that the chain would consider divestitures to clear up any antitrust concerns, if necessary, but that he didn't expect the overlaps to derail the deal. CHS also said that the Securities and Exchange Commission declined to review its merger prospectus—a key step before HMA can hold a special meeting for stockholders to vote on the $3.9 billion transaction. That's probably because HMA's newly installed board of directors has yet to issue its opinion on the deal. Last month, the board tapped new legal and financial advisers to review the offer, and the evaluation is expected to be completed before mid-November. CHS said it will then ask the SEC to sign off on the prospectus.
Late News: CHS downplays FTC's request for more documents in HMA deal
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