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UNC Health Care outbids previous company to buy bankrupt North Carolina hospital

Chapel Hill, N.C.-based UNC Health Care raised its bid to purchase Eden, N.C.-based Morehead Memorial Hospital to $11.5 million during a bankruptcy court hearing Monday, surpassing the previous highest bid by roughly $500,000, the News & Record reports.

The UNC Health Care board of trustees approved the bid last week during an emergency meeting, according to the report. The bid also included an additional $20 million in capital improvements and equipment during the next several years and $2 million in other contingencies.

The offer won the support of Morehead Memorial hospital officials, who reportedly concluded "the UNC bid is the superior bid," a lawyer on behalf of Morehead Memorial said during the hearing Monday. "We have changed our business judgment as the facts have changed."

Miami-based for-profit company Empower iHCC bid $11 million to purchase Morehead Memorial — which includes a 108-bed hospital, a 121-bed skilled nursing facility and several medical offices — during a bankruptcy court hearing Nov. 8. The offer was slightly more than the initial $10.76 million bid the company made during an Oct. 30 auction for hospital and its assets.

During Monday's hearing, lawyers on behalf of Empower iHCC said the UNC Memorial Health Care's new bid was made too late in the process and should not be considered.

The judge will reportedly issue a ruling on the merits of the two bids and whether UNC Health Care's bid would reopen the bidding process upon the conclusion of Monday's hearing.

Morehead Memorial filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July, citing an unmanageable debt load and the need to find a buyer or partner capable of infusing significant cash resources into its medical services, according to the report.

More articles on transactions and valuations:
CHI: Sale of KentuckyOne facilities to be delayed through June 2018
Tower Health paid $418M for 5 former CHS hospitals
Judge: Legislature's handling of shuttered Louisiana hospital's closing was suspect

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