Conifer spinoff may not happen, Tenet says

The spinoff of Tenet Healthcare's revenue cycle division, Conifer, may not happen, the Dallas-based for-profit hospital operator said in its fourth-quarter earnings call Feb. 8. 

During the earnings call, Tenet Executive Chair Ron Rittenmeyer said the plans for Conifer are up for debate.

"Spinning it out … we've talked about doing that," Mr. Rittenmeyer said. "But at the same time, it's [a] balance between what does the spin give us as a company and our shareholders, versus if there's more to do, [will] we have a greater valued asset for the years out? That's the debate."

In February 2021, Tenet said it would delay the spinoff of Conifer by 12 months, citing the pandemic. Tenet first began exploring the selloff of Conifer into a separate publicly traded company in December 2017. At that time, Tenet said it had enlisted financial and legal advisers to determine the best path forward for Conifer, including a potential sale.

Mr. Rittenmeyer said that Tenet's initial decision to spin off Conifer came at a time when the unit was in a worse financial position and that it was coming under pressure from investors. 

"We agreed to do this because the army was at the door," he said.

However, Mr. Rittenmeyer said Conifer is now in a much better place as it has improved its margins by over 1,000 basis points in the last four years, changed its management and moved many operations overseas.

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