At AG’s Urging, Jameson Seeks More Merger Proposals

NEW CASTLE, Pa. – The office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General wants Jameson Health System to seek proposals from potential merger partners other than the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center before it determines whether UPMC’s proposed acquisition violates competitive guidelines.

UPMC and Jameson signed a tentative merger agreement last September that was expected to be approved in April. Instead, the merger has been stalled pending the attorney general’s review.

Today Jameson said it has issued requests for proposals to a wide range of potential merger partners as requested by the Pennsylvania attorney general.

In announcing the AG’s request, Jameson said UPMC has “reaffirmed its proposal to merge” with the Lawrence County, Pa., health system and is extending its offer until Dec. 31.

In the meantime, Jameson is soliciting other offers with proposals due in “approximately 30 days.” The health system said it has retained Ponder & Co. as its financial adviser to lead the solicitation process.

Said Jameson CEO Doug Danko in a prepared statement, “We are pleased that UPMC remains dedicated to the agreement in principle we reached last year. We look forward to receiving additional offers that will allow Jameson Health System to not only maintain but improve the critical medical services we provide every day. At the conclusion of this process, we expect to have a partner that will ensure Jameson Health System can continue to serve the community for years to come.”

UPMC has agreed to invest nearly $70 million in the financially ailing system. In 2014, Jameson had total operating expenses of $110 million compared to net patient revenue of $105 million.

Jameson ended patient admissions Aug. 20 at its maternity care center, the result of its inability to maintain adequate physician staffing levels, officials said. The system’s South Campus was expected to close this month but that shutdown has been delayed to an undetermined date.

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