The Boston Globe, August 21, 2012

Steward Health Care System LLC, which has amassed a chain of 10 community hospitals in Massachusetts, signed a letter of intent to buy financially struggling Mercy Health System of Maine from a Catholic hospital group. The letter, which does not spell out financial terms, gives Boston-based Steward exclusive rights to negotiate with Mercy’s owner, Catholic Hospital East, a Pennsylvania-based network of 35 hospitals and other healthcare facilities operating in 11 states from Maine to Florida. If the talks succeed, the parties would reach an asset purchase agreement converting 140-bed Mercy from a nonprofit to investor-owned. The deal would be subject to approval by Maine regulators as well as Vatican officials.

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