Mercy Iowa City continues auction after long day in Chicago

Mercy Iowa City hospital in Iowa City, Iowa, on Monday, August 7, 2023. The financially struggling hospital has signed a letter of intent with the University of Iowa to be acquired by the university for a proposed $20 million. The hospital and employees would transition to UI Health Care.   (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

With out clarification — after an extended day in legal professional workplaces in downtown Chicago — Mercy Iowa Metropolis at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night introduced the historic public sale for its property as half Chapter 11 chapter proceedings can be continued “to a later date.”

The choice, in accordance with a courtroom submitting made public simply after 7:30 p.m., was completed in “session with the official committee of unsecured collectors” — a gaggle fashioned to symbolize the greater than 400 people and firms that Mercy owes greater than $17 million.

Though the continuance didn’t set a brand new public sale date, Wednesday night’s courtroom submitting indicated it will occur earlier than the sale listening to, set for Oct. 10.

Wednesday’s public sale had been scheduled to start out at 10 a.m. on the regulation workplaces of McDermott Will & Emery LLP in Chicago.

Mercy spokeswoman Eileen Wixted nearing 10:30 p.m. stated the public sale course of was continued “so the events can proceed negotiations.”

As a part of Mercy’s Aug. 7 chapter petition, it introduced the College of Iowa was providing a “stalking horse” bid for considerably all its property of $20 million.

That was nicely under the assessed worth of Mercy’s 19 properties — which 2023 property assessments present are value a mixed $137.3 million, in accordance with a evaluation by The Gazette. Utilizing the decrease internet e book worth of its actual property, Mercy final month estimated its whole internet value — together with excess of simply property — at practically $97 million.

The college’s opening supply for Mercy additionally was only a third of the greater than $62 million it owes in secured debt to bondholders, together with its largest Preston Hole Group Capital.

Given the college’s low supply, Preston Hole in earlier courtroom filings aired intentions to make use of a “credit score bid” possibility to make sure it will get its a refund.

Credit score bidding lets secured collectors bid the debt {that a} debtor owes them in an public sale for the property. On this case, Preston Hole and grasp trustee Computershare might use that choice to bid on Mercy with the practically $63 million owed to them.

The profitable bidder on the motion would personal Mercy’s property, freed from any of the hospital’s present debt, permitting the bidder then to seek for a brand new operator or promote the property.

Though Mercy labored into its bidding guidelines language discouraging credit score bidding, it additionally agreed to expressly enable it. Moreover, negotiated bidding guidelines eliminated any requirement the profitable bidder must keep Mercy as a well being care operation.

Vanessa Miller covers greater schooling for The Gazette.

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