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UPMC gets green light to acquire Jameson Health System

The proposed merger between Jameson Health System, a single hospital system in New Castle, Pa., and Pittsburgh-based UPMC has been given the go-ahead under a consent decree filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

The final order places restrictions on the transaction, such as requiring UPMC to maintain Jameson as an acute care hospital for at least 10 years. UPMC will also take over Jameson's $18 million in pension obligations and make $15 million in improvements at Jameson over the next two years, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The UPMC-Jameson merger has been in the works for nearly two years. The process of joining the two began in September 2014, when Jameson signed a letter of intent to merge with UPMC. They signed a definitive merger agreement last February.

The organizations had hoped the deal would be approved by the state attorney general and close last spring, but the decision was delayed due to antitrust concerns. The transaction was issued another setback last August, when the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office recommended Jameson look for other buyers before finalizing the deal with UPMC due to the potential antitrust issues associated with the deal. In January, the state attorney general said she would not oppose the proposed merger.   

The consent decree requires UPMC to give the attorney general's office 120 days notice before acquiring any additional Pennsylvania hospitals.

Jameson and UPMC hope to complete the merger by May 1.

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