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Care New England may not finalize sale of Memorial Hospital until 'well into 2018'

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Providence, R.I.-based Care New England officials said a complicated negotiation process has extended the timeline of Pawtucket, R.I.-based Memorial Hospital's sale to Ontario, Calif.-based Prime Healthcare Foundation, according to WPRI-12 News.

CNE officials reportedly expected to complete the sale to Prime by late this year or early 2018. However, Alyssa Boss, a member of CNE's general counsel, told bondholders during a conference call Thursday the sale may not occur until "well into 2018," the report states.

Officials also reportedly hoped to sign an asset purchase agreement with Prime for the deal, but it has not occurred. CNE's general counsel told bondholders officials expect to sign the agreement with Prime during "the next couple of weeks," according to the report.

"Negotiations have been pretty complicated. We are working to try to get Prime there as quickly as possible[,] and we are emphasizing the importance of getting it done as quickly as possible," Ms. Boss said. "If we are unable to agree on an asset purchase agreement with Prime … then we would need to revisit the strategic options the board has previously reviewed."

Jim Beardsworth, a spokesperson for CNE, told Becker's Hospital Review CNE remains committed to the deal, which has taken longer than expected due to the complexity of the sale process.

CNE President and CEO Dennis Keefe also reportedly updated bondholders on the status of the health system's proposed merger with Boston-based Partners HealthCare. He said the health systems are conducting "very extensive" due diligence, but did not specify whether the merger was still on track to be finalized.

Partners officials said in August the health system plans to hold off on finalizing its proposed acquisition of CNE until CNE's finances improve. When asked about Partners' comments, Mr. Keefe said CNE has engaged in various efforts to cut expenses, including downsizing senior management, which will reportedly save the health system roughly $10 million, according to the report.


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