Palmyra purchase to close March 1st - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Palmyra purchase to close March 1st

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Phoebe Putney's purchase of HCA-Palmyra Medical Center should be finalized by March 1st.     That's the day Phoebe expects to close the deal and take over the hospital and other assets.    

It's a transaction worth roughly $200 Million with complicated legal maneuvering.

This is a deal Phoebe execs initially wanted to close two days ago, January 31st.  But as the process moved forward, it became much more complicated.  Now, they believe all the papers will be signed less from a month from Wednesday.

The purchase of another Hospital by Phoebe Putney has been far more complicated and time consuming than originally planned, but should be complete within the next few weeks.  CEO Joel Wernick said, "We feel fairly confident that we'll have most of this wrapped up by the first of March, obviously there's been a great deal of detail that's gone into this and certainly a great deal of effort by both the seller and the buyer."

On Wednesday, both the hospital board and the hospital authority met to approve resolutions that will set the closing date for March 1st, as well as outline how the approximately $200 Million transaction will take place.  

Attorney Tommy Chambless said, "It will be reverted back to its ultimate owner, that's the hospital authority of Albany/Dougherty County and that's the money that'll be used to make the purchase from HCA."

As for current Palmyra employees, CEO Joel Wernick says they will remain, though 22 have already been told they'll be cut from the Phoebe workforce because they don't meet hiring requirements.

Wernick said, "I would disagree with the term cuts.  Once again, we're talking about an employment process and our commitment was to employ all eligible workers."

Wernick says other employment checks will still take place."  Other eligibility requirements, as I've talked to you before, such as substance abuse and criminal background checks, those still need to be done, but besides those pieces of the puzzle, they'll be no modification of staffing at all planned."

And he hopes those Palmyra employees will officially be Phoebe employees in less than a month.


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