Potential sale of Alaska hospital comes with $35M in pension liability

The possible sale of Sitka (Ala.) Community Hospital will include a $35 million pension obligation, KCAW reports. 

Florham Park, N.J.-based consulting firm Conduent estimated the City of Sitka would be required to pay employee retirement and benefits if the hospital were closed or sold. Conduent's report assumes the hospital will be sold by Feb. 1, 2018, and the pension liability would be met in 2040.

Rob Allen, Sitka Community Hospital CEO, told KCAW the obligation is "daunting" and surpassed expectations. "I think it just changes the calculation of any deal. Whoever is going to make an offer is going to have to be very creative in how they deal with" the pension liability, he said.

The owners of a hotel and restaurant in Sitka expressed interest in purchasing the hospital this week. The Sitka General Assembly is poised to consider a competing offer from Juneau-based SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium in two weeks. In May, SEARHC offered to purchase the hospital for $6.5 million upfront and $600,000 each year in exchange for a five-year lease of the building.  

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