Bell Hospital Signs Letter of Intent to be Acquired by LifePoint Health

Published By: • 03/05/2013 4:37 PM

Ishpeming, Michigan – The Bell Hospital Board of Directors today announced it has signed a letter of intent to be acquired by LifePoint Health®, a leading hospital company focused on providing quality healthcare close to home.  The potential acquisition will provide additional resources for the hospital to strengthen its operations and enhance the services it offers that benefit the Ishpeming community.

“The board engaged an independent advisor in October 2012 to manage a competitive process to help Bell find a strategic partner. We considered a variety of companies across the U.S. and ultimately chose LifePoint because it shared our commitment to Ishpeming and the Upper Peninsula,” said Robert DellAngelo, M.D., Chairman of the Bell Hospital board. “Providing quality healthcare to patients is the top priority at Bell Hospital, and this proposed acquisition will provide the additional financial, operational and clinical support we need to expand and enhance the services we provide, and navigate the changing healthcare environment.”

Becoming a part of LifePoint will give Bell Hospital access to financial, clinical and operational resources and support to improve quality care, continue to recruit and retain needed physicians, and invest in state-of-the-art equipment and facility upgrades.

“LifePoint is excited at the prospect of partnering with the dedicated board, management team, clinical staff and employees at Bell Hospital,” said LifePoint Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William F. Carpenter III. “LifePoint shares Bell Hospital’s commitment to providing quality healthcare services close to home. Working together, we see many opportunities to enhance healthcare delivery in Ishpeming.  We look forward to exploring this proposed partnership with Bell in the weeks to come.”
The LifePoint acquisition offers many benefits to the Ishpeming community. LifePoint will become a local taxpayer, providing an important source of new tax revenue to support the local economy. Additionally, proceeds from the transaction will retire Bell’s financial obligations and fund a small, locally-governed charitable foundation.

“LifePoint has shown a dedication to improving care in our community and being a collaborative partner in our efforts to maintain and enhance healthcare services locally at Bell Hospital,” said Floyd Bounds, Bell Hospital CEO. “Bell Hospital is delighted to engage in the next steps of this potential LifePoint partnership.”

The letter of intent is a non-binding agreement that authorizes Bell Hospital and LifePoint to move forward with the necessary steps to pursue the proposed acquisition. The two parties will enter a due diligence and negotiation process, which is projected to take 60 to 90 days. Following this period, a definitive agreement will be reached. The proposed transaction will be subject to review and approval by the Attorney General of Michigan.

About Bell Hospital

Bell is a 25-bed Critical Access hospital with more than 350 employees serving the healthcare needs of people throughout Marquette County. Bell has more than 90 physicians on its active and consulting medical staff with specialties in Family Practice, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Orthopedics, Urology, Emergency Medicine, Pathology, Radiology, Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology.