Prime Healthcare Services has withdrawn its $843 million bid for Daughters of Charity’s ailing hospitals, including two in L.A. County, in the face of stringent conditions imposed by state Attorney General Kamala Harris.
“Onerous and unprecedented” stipulations imposed on the sale would have made it impossible for the hospitals to remain operational and ultimately forced Prime to abandon its bid, the company said in a statement.
Harris approved the deal late last month, provided Ontario-based Prime met conditions that included running Lynwood’s St. Francis Medical Center as an acute care hospital and offering emergency services for 10 years.
Daughters of Charity said in a statement it strongly disagreed with Prime’s position on the Attorney General’s conditions. Its system of six California hospitals has been teetering on the edge of bankruptcy as it hemorrhaged $10 million a month. Prime was chosen to acquire the hospitals after the Daughters reached out to 133 potential buyers, including for-profit, non-profit, government, Catholic, private equity and real estate sources. The process spanned more than a year.
The United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals, which represents nurses at St. Francis, released a statement after Prime withdrew its offer urging Daughters of Charity to reconsider a previously rejected bid from New York private equity firm Blue Wolf Capital Partners.
Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West, which has waged a bitter battle against the deal with Prime, also championed Blue Wolf. The union voices concerns over a federal investigation into Prime’s billing practices and fears that the firm would cut jobs and services in favor of profits.
Chief Executive Robert Issai shared the news with employees this morning via email, adding he was consulting with Daughters’ board, advisors and executives on various options.
“We’ve spent hours meeting with Prime and also meeting with the Attorney General’s office to come to an agreement on a path forward for DCHS,” he wrote in the email. “Unfortunately, Prime contends that the conditions placed on the sale by the Attorney General justify their decision not to move forward and will have negative repercussions for its future transactions elsewhere in the United States.”
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