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CHS eyes $1B in potential hospital sales

Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems has sold a number of hospitals over the past several years and is evaluating interest for sales that could yield more than $1 billion in additional proceeds, CEO Tim Hingtgen said on the company's Feb. 21 earnings call. 

"We have modeled several attractive scenarios, but will remain extremely disciplined in our decision-making as it relates to divestitures, acquisitions and ensuring that our core portfolio is strong and positioned for long-term success," Mr. Hingtgen said, according to a transcript from Seeking Alpha

CHS CFO Kevin Hammons said on the call that the system anticipates one or more of these transactions could close within the calendar year, "providing substantial capital for the company to redeploy."

Mr. Hingtgen said proceeds from divestitures "enable a variety of positive activities such as targeted investments in core markets, funding potential future acquisitions and increased flexibility in debt management."

In 2023, CHS sold hospitals in West Virginia, Arkansas and Florida. The system also had plans to sell two of its North Carolina hospitals to Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Novant Health, but the Federal Trade Commission in January sued to block the move. 

"The case will now move to federal court for final determination," Mr. Hingtgen said. 

The 71-hospital, for-profit system reported $957 million in operating income in 2023, improving on the $821 million gain posted in 2022.

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