Federal judge puts 12-month deadline on St. Luke's sale of Saltzer Medical Group

A federal judge has appointed a trustee and ordered Boise, Idaho-based St. Luke's Health System to sell Saltzer Medical Group in Nampa, Idaho, within the next 12 months, according to an Idaho Statesman report.

The St. Luke's-Saltzer Medical Group transaction has been bumpy from the beginning, and it began with the Federal Trade Commission challenging St. Luke's 2012 acquisition of the medical group. In January 2014, a federal judge sided with the FTC and ordered St. Luke's to unwind its acquisition of Saltzer. St. Luke's appealed the decision, and in February 2015, an appeals court affirmed the district court's decision.

In June, the FTC and the Idaho Attorney General's Office filed court documents claiming St. Luke's was not complying with the order requiring it to unwind its acquisition of Saltzer. At that time, the issue of separating services was keeping the deal from being reversed. Although St. Luke's was ordered to "divest completely" Saltzer was "not ordered to take everything back," St. Luke's general counsel Christy Neuhoff told the Idaho Statesman in June.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill appointed Cain Bros. as the trustee to oversee the sale of the medical group. The trustee will find the best price and terms of sale for Saltzer's assets, "subject to St. Luke's absolute and unconditional obligation to divest expeditiously and at no minimum price," the order said, according to the report. The judge imposed a 12-month deadline on the sale.

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