Community, Tenet still at odds over unsolicited buyout offer
Community Health Systems and Tenet Healthcare Corp. remain at a stalemate over Community’s unsolicited offer to buy Tenet, as the CEOs of both companies said during conference calls. Both companies also reported higher earnings for the fourth quarter. The board and management of Dallas-based Tenet continues to believe that Community’s $7.3 billion offer, consisting of $3.3 billion in stock and cash and assumption of $4 billion in debt, grossly undervalues the company, said Trevor Fetter, Tenet’s president and CEO. There have been no developments in the situation since Community announced a slate of 10 directors and four alternates Jan. 14. Fetter acknowledged an effect on Tenet’s pursuit of its own acquisitions: “It’s not helpful to have a cloud over the potential ownership of the company when you’re doing that,” he said. Wayne Smith, chairman, president and CEO of Community, said, “We’re looking forward to getting to the (negotiating) table with Tenet.” The Franklin, Tenn., company can complete the Tenet deal and still continue to make other acquisitions, Smith added. Community recently agreed to acquire a three-hospital system in northeast Pennsylvania from Catholic Health Partners, Cincinnati. “The opportunities are there because smaller providers are struggling. Our pipeline is as deep as it’s ever been,” Smith said.