The parent company of Lutheran Health Network in Fort Wayne has rejected a $2.4 billion offer from a group of 10 Fort Wayne physicians to acquire the system. Tennessee-based Community Health Systems Inc. (NYSE: CYH) says the offer undervalues Lutheran by at least $1 billion.
Community Health Systems has raised other issues as well, saying the physicians have not signed a non-disclosure agreement under which negotiations could occur. In a statement, the Tennessee company says the group has "failed to satisfy any reasonable criteria of a legitimate offer." According to that statement, the company says it does not plan to have further discussions about a sale.
The offer comes as some local leaders are pushing for local ownership, saying they want Lutheran’s revenues to stay in the community. CHS says the network has paid more than $286 million in local taxes over the past five years.
Earlier this month, Lutheran Health Network announced a planned $500 million investment to upgrade its health services and hospital facilities. It includes a top-to-bottom renovation of Lutheran Hospital, including major emergency department upgrades and a new comprehensive outpatient cardiovascular center. The CHS Board of Directors has reaffirmed its commitment to that investment.