S&P affirms NorthShore University Health System's bond ratings

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has affirmed the 'AA' long-term bond rating assigned to bonds issued on behalf Evanston, Ill.-based NorthShore University Health System.

The rating, which also was removed from CreditWatch, was for $122.8 million series 2010 revenue refunding bonds, according to the announcement.

The long-term rating affirmation is attributed to various factors, including NorthShore's employment of a large group of physicians, integrated business model with four hospitals, a large outpatient presence in its area and improved operating performance, according to the announcement.

In addition to affirming the long-term bond rating, S&P affirmed its 'AA/A-1+' ratings on NorthShore's $44.5 million of series 1995 and $39.2 million of series 2001C bonds; its 'AA/A-1' ratings for NorthShore's $45.9 million of series 1996 and $39.2 million of series 2001B bonds; and its 'AA/NR' rating for NorthShore's $150 million of series 1990A, 1992, and 1998 bonds, according to the announcement.

"The positive outlook reflects the announced agreement to merge with Advocate Health Care Network to form Chicagoland's largest health care system, which in

our opinion would position it for continued success and further enterprise and financial profile improvement," S&P credit analyst Martin Arrick said in the announcement.

According to the announcement, regulatory approvals are needed to finalize the merger.

More articles on ratings:

Moody's revises ProHealth Care's outlook to negative

Fitch affirms Maine Line Health System's bond rating

Moody's assigns 'A3' rating to $500M of NYU Hospitals Center's bonds

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