Chinese billionaire again ups stake in CHS — this time for $71M

Chinese billionaire Tianqiao Chen has a 22.1 percent stake in Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems after buying nearly 9.8 million more shares of the company, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Prior to purchasing the additional shares, Mr. Chen and his companies had a nearly 13.8 percent stake in CHS. Mr. Chen and his group of companies paid an average of $7.27 per share, bringing the total price of the transaction to $71 million.

A pioneer in China's online gaming industry, Mr. Chen began upping his stake in the for-profit hospital operator last year.

CHS ended the second quarter of this year with a net loss of $137 million, marking the fifth consecutive quarter the company has posted a loss.

To improve its finances and reduce its nearly $15 billion debt load, CHS put a turnaround plan into place last year. As part of the plan, the company announced earlier this year that it intended to sell off 30 hospitals. CHS completed the sale of nine hospitals on June 30 and July 1, closing on 20 of 30 intended divestitures. The company expects to complete divestiture of the remaining 10 hospitals by Sept. 30.

Earlier this month, CHS announced plans to sell off additional hospitals. The company is planning to sell hospitals with a combined total of at least $1.5 billion in annual net revenue, board chairman and CEO Wayne T. Smith said on a second quarter earnings call.

More articles on healthcare finance:

Quorum Health sees net loss narrow to $30.6M, plans more hospital sales
Tenet's net loss balloons to $56M on lower patient volume
Physician advocates: 'We can only judge CHS by its actions, not its words'

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