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Judge approves UNC Health Care's bid to purchase bankrupt North Carolina hospital


A bankruptcy judge approved the $11.5 million sale of Eden, N.C.-based Morehead Memorial hospital to Chapel Hill, N.C.-based UNC Health Care Monday, according to the Triad Business Journal.

UNC Health Care submitted a second offer for Morehead Memorial, which includes a 108-bed hospital, a 121-bed skilled nursing facility and several medical offices, last week. The $11.5 million offer surpassed the previous highest bid by Miami-based for-profit company Empower iHCC.

The bankruptcy hearing for Morehead Memorial and its assets stretched into two days. The first day of the hearing took place Nov. 8, but was adjourned because of time constraints and the judge's concerns regarding Empower iHCC's ability to close on the sale of Morehead Memorial, the report states.

During Monday's hearing, the judge said he was open to hearing UNC Health Care's improved bid because "Empower [had] put on insufficient evidence" of its ability to close the sale, according to the report.

Morehead Memorial officials previously selected Empower iHCC to assume management of the hospital and its assets Oct. 31 after the company successfully outbid six other organizations, including UNC Health Care, for the property during an auction Oct. 30.

However, several companies raised objections to the proposed sale, causing Morehead Memorial officials to postpone the sale and hear the organizations' concerns.

UNC Health Care is a system "that has made a visible commitment to health care in the state of North Carolina and Morehead gets to be a part of that," Dana Weston, president and CEO of Morehead Memorial, said after Monday's hearing, according to the report.

More articles on transactions and valuations:
UNC Health Care outbids previous company to buy bankrupt North Carolina hospital
12 recent hospital transactions and partnerships
Baptist, North Mississippi Health Services still interested in affiliating with Mississippi hospital

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