New hospital could be on auction block

Courtesy Photo<br/>MedCath Corporation, which owns 80 percent of Hualapai Mountain Medical Center, says it is considering selling company assets, which could include the new hospital in Kingman.

Courtesy Photo<br/>MedCath Corporation, which owns 80 percent of Hualapai Mountain Medical Center, says it is considering selling company assets, which could include the new hospital in Kingman.

KINGMAN - MedCath Corporation announced Monday in a news release and in a letter to staff and physicians that it is looking at the possibility of selling the company or some of its hospitals and other assets.

It is unknown what this could mean to the new Hualapai Mountain Medical Center. According to MedCath's annual report, the company owns nearly 80 percent of the new hospital in Kingman, with the other 20 percent owned by physicians and investors.

According to a statement released March 1, the company has created a strategic options committee and hired investment firm Navigant Capital Advisors to assist the committee in exploring the possibility of selling some of the company's assets.

The company has sold at least two hospitals in the last six months. Sun City Cardiac Center Associates in Sun City, Ariz., was sold for $16.9 million to Banner Health in September. The sale of Heart Hospital of Austin, Texas, was announced in February and has not yet been completed, according to a MedCath news release.

HMMC President and CEO Duane Scholer said he did not have any details about the situation other than what was in the news release.

MedCath President and CEO Ed French said he couldn't discuss what was happening because of insider trading concerns.

The company established the committee in November in order to seek new ways of "enhancing shareholder value," he said.

However, the company has not come to any definitive decision on whether it will sell any of its assets or which assets it would sell if it did decide to.

"We have not precluded any options and haven't concluded on any particular option," he said. However, other hospitals and facilities that the company has sold in the past have always provided a great benefit to their communities and most have benefited from the transactions, he said.

French acknowledged sending the letter to staff and physicians of MedCath hospitals, including HMMC, but did not know what would happen with the hospital.

However, the company considers HMMC a "nice long-term investment and a tremendous value to us," French said.