WellStar Health System in talks to buy Tenet Healthcare's five Georgia hospitals

Friday, July 24, 2015

WellStar Health System is in talks with Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare to buy its five Georgia hospitals, according to GeorgiaHealthNews.com.

The two organizations announced July 23 they were beginning "exclusive, non-binding discussions" about Tenet's five Georgia properties, which include Atlanta Medical Center, North Fulton Hospital, South Fulton Medical Center, Spalding Regional Medical Center and Sylvan Grove Hospital.

According to investment bankers, the hospitals could sell between $300 million and $500 million.

“Tenet Healthcare and WellStar Health System have begun exclusive, non-binding discussions about a potential sale of Tenet’s Atlanta-area hospitals and associated facilities to WellStar," Tenet and WellStar noted in a joint statement. "This is to ensure that these hospitals and facilities are best-positioned to meet the needs of their communities and continue delivering high-quality healthcare for many years to come. While these discussions continue, we will maintain our standard policy of not commenting on development activities until we have something definitive to announce.”

Tenet has been looking to sell its Georgia hospitals for months.

“As we’ve noted in the past, there are markets where we don’t see a path either by acquisition or partnership to develop the scale we believe will be necessary as health-care delivery continues to evolve,” Tenet CEO Trevor Fetter said in a May 5 earnings call with analysts. “In those markets, we believe our hospitals would be better positioned under another operator. For example, we continue to pursue strategic alternatives for our hospitals in Georgia and North Carolina and expect this process will likely result in sales of these facilities.”

Piedmont Healthcare and Northside Hospital were also reportedly interested in buying Tenet's Georgia hospitals. This is an unexpected move for WellStar, who just last month broke off talks to merge with Emory Healthcare.