JERSEY CITY – After two days of hearing from two prospective bidders, a Christ Hospital creditors’ committee has selected a combined bid from Community Healthcare Associates (CHA) and LibertyHealth System to buy the bankrupt Christ, according to two sources who requested not to be identified.
If true, a federal bankruptcy judge in Newark will issue a ruling on Friday on who the hospital’s next owner will be. The judge is likely to support the opinion of the creditors committee and rule in favor of the CHA/LibertyHealth bid.
The struggling Christ Hospital filed for bankruptcy last month.
Since Monday, a committee that represents the interests of the hospital’s creditors has been in closed-door meetings with representatives of Hudson Holdco LLC, which currently owns Bayonne Medical Center and Hoboken University Medical Center, and CHA/Liberty Health System.
These were the two prospective Christ buyers who submitted bids to a federal bankruptcy court by the March 15 deadline.
A third bid that had been anticipated from MHA, the current owner of Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus, was not submitted.
The bids from Holdco and CHA/LibertyHealth are not currently available to the public, but are likely similar to bids they each submitted last year to the Christ Hospital Board of Trustees.
In December, Hudson Holdco LLC made a bid to buy Christ for $91.6 million. This offer came with $10 million in emergency financing to help keep the hospital open to allow the Christ board an opportunity to explore purchase options from several prospective buyers.
Christ flatly rejected Holdco’s offer just days after it was made.
LibertyHealth System made two offers to buy Christ, the most recent of which was a combined bid with CHA for $104.3 million. According to the LibertyHealth/CHA offer, CHA would purchase Christ Hospital and its real estate holdings then lease the hospital back to LibertyHealth, which would run the hospital’s medical services. If early reports are true that the creditors’ committee has expressed support for the CHA/LibertyHealth offer, this is likely the offer that will be ruled on later this week.
Mark Rabson, spokesman for LibertyHealth, which owns Jersey City Medical Center, said Wednesday, “We respect the process. We look forward to the final outcome on Friday.”
He would not confirm or deny comments that the creditors’ committee had selected the CHA/LibertyHealth System bid over Hudson Holdco. – E. Assata Wright