Attorney General Thurbert Baker has given his approval for the sale of BJC Medical Center to Tennessee-based Restoration Healthcare. Officials expect the $7.1 million transaction to close by the end of January.
“We have received the go-ahead from the attorney general,” BJC Medical Center Authority chairman Charles Blair said Thursday.
Under Georgia law, before a publicly owned hospital can be sold, the attorney general must review and approve the transaction.
The next step, said Blair, is for Restoration to finalize its financial arrangements and for the authority to officially accept the purchase offer.
“We have to formally vote on and accept the letter of intent we could not act on until the attorney general approved (the agreement),” said Blair.
The authority does not meet in December. Blair said he expects it to hold a called meeting before the regularly-scheduled January meeting, which is Jan. 25.
Restoration CEO Steve Clapp said his company will put the “finishing touches” on its financial package over the next two weeks.
“We are not going to close by the end of December, but if it all works out, we could realistically close by the end of January,” he said.
Still to be determined is the ownership share to be held by local investors. Clapp said he expects “six to eight, maybe more” doctors to purchase anywhere from a 35 to a 50 percent stake in the facility.
BJC Medical Center operates a 90-bed hospital, a 167-bed nursing facility, a specialty clinic and a wellness center. It has a staff of more than 400 medical professionals. The hospital was founded in 1960.
The hospital went on the market late last year after the Banks and Jackson County boards of commissioners expressed no interest in backing bonds to build a new hospital. Selling the facility became a survival issue early this year after BJC’s audit showed $3.8 million in losses over the previous two years.