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Steward Health Care to Acquire Mercy Health System of Maine

Mercy Health System of Maine in Portland has entered into a non-binding letter of intent to be acquired by Boston-based Steward Health Care System.

As part of the agreement, Steward will make a significant investment in Mercy facilities and programs, including its VNA Home Health Hospice. Steward will also commit to maintaining Mercy's community benefits and charitable care and intends to retain the current Mercy management team and employees.

According to the release, the terms of the transaction also allow Mercy to remain a Catholic hospital and continue the mission of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas in Silver Spring, Md., one of its sponsors. For instance, the transaction will include a stewardship agreement with the Sisters of Mercy Northeast Community and the Bishop of the Diocese of Portland to continue to oversee Mercy's commitment to the ethical and religious directives for Catholic healthcare, according to the release.

However, as a part of Steward — a taxable entity — Mercy would pay applicable state and local taxes, including property tax, in the communities it serves.

Mercy's parent company, Catholic Health East in Newtown Square, Pa., supports Steward's potential acquisition of Mercy as a part of its own strategic planning process, according to the release.  

The transaction is subject to regulatory as well as canonical approvals before it is finalized.

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