(Bloomberg) — Community Health Systems, a troubled U.S. hospital chain with a market value of about $1.4 billion, said it’s exploring a variety of options with its financial advisers.
The discussions are at a very preliminary stage and there’s no timeline for the review, the company said Monday in a statement. Community Health said that there is no certainty of a deal and it won’t make further public comment while the process is under way.
The stock surged 16 percent Friday after Bloomberg News reported that the chain was exploring a possible sale, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Before Friday’s move, the shares had plunged 75 percent in the past 12 months. The stock dropped 1.8 percent to $12.07 in early trading Monday, before the U.S. markets opened.
Including long-term debt, Community Health has an enterprise value of about $17 billion. The high level of debt, combined with operational issues facing the company, could limit the number of potential buyers, one of the people familiar with the talks said last week.
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Sheryl Skolnick, an analyst with Mizuho Securities, said at the time that Community Health might have trouble finding a buyer in the two other biggest publicly traded hospital chains, HCA Holdings and Tenet Healthcare Corp.