Northwestern, Centegra next big merger in Chicago?
Northwestern Memorial HealthCare is on a deal-making binge. The Chicago system is in talks to affiliate with Centegra Health System in northwest subur-
ban Crystal Lake, Ill.
Centegra, a two-hospital system with a third set to open in August, would be the fourth such deal for Northwestern in roughly two years. A merger would create a nine-hospital system (10 when Centegra’s hospital in Huntley opens this summer) stretching from 70 miles west of downtown Chicago, north to near the Wisconsin border. The systems signed a letter of intent and plans to explore an affiliation over the next several months.
Centegra posted $434 million in revenue for 2014, according to its most recent annual financial statement. Northwestern, by comparison, is much bigger, with $3.89 billion in 2015 revenue.
Northwestern has been adding community hospitals to its system and expanding its footprint out to the suburbs at a rapid pace. It’s fending off rivals like Advocate Health Care, the largest health system in the state with hospitals that also are major rivals to Centegra. Since 2014, Northwestern has added Cadence Health and KishHealth, both in the western suburbs. Wheaton-based Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital and affiliates were the most recent addition.