BlackRock ups stake in CHS to become company's second-largest shareholder

New York City-based BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, has increased its stake in Community Health Systems and now owns 10.9 percent of the Franklin, Tenn.-based hospital operator, according to a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

With 12.4 million shares of CHS, BlackRock is the company's second-largest shareholder. Chinese billionaire Tianqiao Chen and his group of companies have a nearly 13.8 percent stake in CHS.

BlackRock upped its investment in CHS as the hospital operator is exploring options with financial sponsors. During a third-quarter earnings call, CEO Wayne Smith said CHS is in talks to sell 17 hospitals and other assets to trim its debt load.

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