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Ardent, LHP Hospital Group merger to form 2nd largest private, for-profit hospital chain

Nashville, Tenn.-based Ardent Health Services and Plano, Texas-based LHP Hospital Group have entered into a definitive agreement to merge the two institutions. The merged entity will become the second largest private, for-profit hospital operator by revenue in the U.S.

Currently, Ardent operates three health systems with 14 hospitals and has employed physicians at nearly 100 clinic locations in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, and LHP operates five acute care hospitals in Florida, Idaho, New Jersey and Texas with joint venture partners.

The new company will include 19 hospitals, 3,200 patient beds and 18,000 employees, including 475 employed physicians. Expected revenue will be more than $3 billion.

The merged entity will become the second largest private, for-profit hospital chain. Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems and Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corporation of America remain two of the largest public, for-profit hospital chains.

According to the agreement, Ardent will take over LHP's management and operational responsibilities with each future joint venture partnership.

The transaction is set to close in 2017, pending necessary regulatory approvals. Once complete, Ardent executives will lead the newly merged company with the assistance of key LHP officials. The new company will be headquartered in Nashville.

The financial terms of the agreement have yet to be disclosed.

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