Creditor seeks to oust hospital chain CEO

A creditor recently filed a motion in bankruptcy court seeking to oust the CEO of Americore Health, which presently owns and operates hospitals in Arkansas, Missouri and Pennsylvania.  

Americore and its affiliated hospitals filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late December. In court documents filed in January, Americore Founder and CEO Grant White alleged his company was forced into bankruptcy by one of its lenders, Delray Beach, Fla.-based Third Friday Total Return Fund.

Mr. White claimed Third Friday and its principal officer hijacked Americore's bank accounts and tried to oust him from his company. Third Friday and its manager Michael Lewitt have now officially requested Mr. White be removed as CEO.

Third Friday filed a motion in bankruptcy court last week seeking to remove Mr. White as Americore's leader. In an affidavit to support the motion, Mr. Lewitt says Mr. White is unfit to manage Americore.

"As debtor's senior lender, I have worked closely with Mr. White over the last 18 months and believe he is unfit to manage debtor's business," states the affidavit. "He not only lacks adequate knowledge of the hospital and healthcare business, but he conducts business in a highly unethical manner in which he consistently breaches contracts, violates loan agreements, deliberately misleads lenders, vendors and employees, and consistently acts in a manner that damages the reputation and prospects of debtor."

Mr. Lewitt claims Americore and its hospitals will be "irreparably harmed" if Mr. White continues to manage the company.

The official committee of creditors filed a motion Feb. 7 asking for an investigation into the business and financial affairs of Americore, and the U.S. Trustee is seeking access to Americore's financial information.

"This information will allow the United States Trustee to take appropriate actions to protect the bankruptcy estate, as well as the safety of the patients currently in the care of these debtors," lawyers for the U.S. Trustee wrote in court papers.

In an interview with Bloomberg on Feb. 7, Mr. White said patient safety is not an issue at any of Americore's hospitals. He declined to comment on why Americore hasn't filed financial statements in the bankruptcy case.

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