Flagler Health+ gets credit rating upgrade to 'A-' amid merger

St. Augustine, Fla.-based Flagler Health+, which is combining with UF Health, the academic health center of the University of Florida, enjoyed a credit upgrade from "BBB" to "A-," S&P Global said Sept. 11.

The rating upgrade applies both to the system's internal default rating and on a series of bonds. The outlook is stable.

"The raised rating reflects our view of the strategic value and anticipated benefits of the acquisition of UFHSJ by UF Health Shands," said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Wendy Taylor. "We believe the integration and synergies should allow UFHSJ to maintain its leading business position in an increasingly competitive market, better retain its broad enterprise profile characteristics, and improve its overall financial performance."

UFHSJ refers to Flagler Health+ while UF Health Shands refers to the UF acute care hospital in Gainesville.

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