Bankrupt Verity Health has completed the sale of St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles to billionaire entrepreneur Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong.
Under the new purchase agreement approved by a bankruptcy judge, Soon-Shiong will acquire the hospital for $135 million. He will assume the lease between Verity and the state of California. Soon-Shiong will use the other buildings on the St. Vincent campus to conduct COVID-19 research.
St. Vincent, Los Angeles' oldest hospital, cared for patients during the smallpox pandemic of 1876-77, Soon-Shiong said in a statement.
"The legacy of innovation and caring for the poor must continue," he said. "Through the acquisition of this closed campus, we can ensure an ongoing legacy of preparedness against viral threats such as COVID-19. We are pleased to partner with the state of California using St. Vincent again during this time of crisis to contribute to winning the war by serving as the Los Angeles Surge Hospital."
Soon-Shiong, who bought a majority stake in Verity's management company about a year before its bankruptcy, initially proposed buying the hospital through the foundation he runs with his wife. California's attorney general objected, arguing it would amount to "self-dealing," because Soon-Shiong's company NantWorks is a creditor in the bankruptcy case.