WASHINGTON Jan 22 Hospital operator Community
Health Systems Inc has won approval to buy Health
Management Associates Inc on the condition that it sell
hospitals in Alabama and South Carolina, the U.S. Federal Trade
Commission said on Wednesday.
The deal was valued at $3.9 billion when it was announced by
the companies in July. The FTC, which includes debt in its
calculations, put the value at $7.6 billion.
Community Health Systems, the second-largest for-profit U.S.
hospital operator, said in July that it would buy Florida-based
Health Management, a smaller rival, to strengthen its base of
operations as the U.S. healthcare system is overhauled under
President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.
Both chains operate hospitals primarily in smaller cities
and rural areas. Health Management has a strong focus in the
U.S. southeast, including Florida.
Despite the expansion, Tennessee-based Community Health will
remain the second largest hospital network behind industry
leader HCA Holdings Inc, which concentrates mostly on
The combined company will operate 206 hospitals across 29
Under a deal with the FTC, which assesses proposed mergers
to ensure they comply with antitrust law, Community Health will
sell the Riverview Regional Medical Center near Gadsden, Alabama
and the Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center near Hartsville,
No buyer was immediately named for the hospitals.
U.S. hospitals are seeing a wave of consolidation. Most
recently, No. 3 hospital chain Tenet Healthcare Corp
purchased Vanguard Health Systems Inc, wrapping up the $1.73
billion deal in October.