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2 New Jersey health systems to merge into $2.2B organization

Camden, N.J.-based Cooper University Health Care and Cape Regional Health System in Cape May Court House, N.J., have signed a letter of intent to merge into a two-hospital system with revenue exceeding $2.2 billion a year.

The combined health system will have more than 10,000 team members, 900 employed physicians in three physician groups, 45o advanced practice providers, 900 licensed beds, over 130 ambulatory locations and six urgent care centers. 

"As it becomes more and more challenging for smaller health systems to operate independently, merging with Cooper made the most sense as we share the same commitment to the communities we serve and to providing the highest quality care to our patients," Garry Gilbert, chair of Cape Regional's board of trustees, said in a Dec. 14 news release. 

Cooper and Cape Regional hope to sign a definitive agreement in March 2023, after which they will seek regulatory approval for the merger, which could take until the first quarter of 2024.

In November, S&P Global Ratings raised Cooper's credit rating from "BBB+" to "A-", the highest rating in the system's 135-year history.

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