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Sanford Health, UnityPoint nix $11B merger

Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health and Des Moines, Iowa-based UnityPoint Health have called off plans to merge into an $11 billion, 76-hospital system.

Sanford Health had signed a letter of intent in June to merge with UnityPoint Health. The organization would have ranked among the top 15 largest nonprofit health systems in the U.S. 

In a Nov. 12 statement, Sanford Health CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft said the merger was canceled because the UnityPoint Health board "failed to embrace the vision."

"We were excited at the opportunity our combination would have provided to create a new health system of national prominence. The executive management teams and physicians worked diligently for 18 months to provide a merger recommendation to the boards. We are disappointed that the UnityPoint Health board failed to embrace the vision," Mr. Krabbenhoft said.

UnityPoint officials didn't comment on the reason for calling off the merger, but said UnityPoint had "seriously explored the opportunity to join with Sanford Health."

"I'm tremendously proud of our organization, and we will continue to work tirelessly to evaluate any avenue that improves the delivery of healthcare," said Kevin Vermeer, president and CEO of UnityPoint Health. "Sanford is an exceptional organization with a bright future ahead. UnityPoint Health moves forward with strong roots and a fierce commitment to improving the experience of the people we serve."

More articles on healthcare industry transactions:

CHS to sell 3 hospitals, exit Virginia
Mercy Hospital in Minnesota to join Essentia Health
LifePoint inks $700M deal with Medical Properties Trust

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