The nationâ€™s largest hospital operator HCA Inc., announced on Monday that a private equity group has bought the company for about $21 billion. The firm has been struggling due to an increase in competition and in addition to growing unfunded liabilities.
The private equity group consisting of Bain Capital, Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts & Co., and Merrill Lynch, according to the Wall Street Journal will also assume HCAâ€™s debt of $10.6 billion bringing the deal close to $31.6 billion.
Doctorâ€™s practices along with unpaid hospital bills have been cutting into HCAâ€™s profit margins. In the second quarter earnings report for 2006, HCA missed Wall Street estimates where it recorded a net profit of $295 million or $0.72 EPS compared to the $0.77 estimate by Thomson First Call.
Jack O. Bovender, Jr., HCA Chairman and CEO, said that the new equity group will still maintain the HCB belief in putting patients first.
â€œWe are very pleased to have an experienced group of investors who are committed to maintaining our company's culture of a patients-first approach to high quality, compassionate care,â€ Bovender Jr. said.