Judge Approves Plan To Restructure Debt of Santa Paula Hospital
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robin Riblet on Wednesday ruled that a plan to restructure Santa Paula Memorial Hospital's debt could go to the hospital's creditors for a vote, the Ventura County Star reports (Wilson, Ventura County Star, 2/10). The plan calls for Ventura County to pay $2.75 million for 13 acres of land -- including the hospital facility -- and for the remaining 15.5 acres of undeveloped land to be auctioned by March 15 to help pay the hospital's creditors, according to the Los Angeles Daily News (Valencia-Martinez, Los Angeles Daily News, 2/10).
Santa Paula Memorial Hospital closed in December 2003, and the hospital's board of trustees subsequently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in federal court in Santa Barbara (California Healthline, 11/18/04). If approved, the plan would reopen the hospital as part of the Ventura County Medical Center (Los Angeles Daily News, 2/10).
Manhattan Beach-based Comstock Homes in November 2004 bid $13.1 million for the undeveloped land but reduced its bid earlier this month. Woodland Hills-based Voit Development and Centex Homes of Dallas will submit bids for the undeveloped land by March 15. In November, Voit bid $13 million for the land, and Centex bid $11.55 million (Ventura County Star, 2/10).
Riblet scheduled an April 6 hearing to confirm the results of the vote. Two-thirds of creditors must vote in favor of the agreement for it to take effect (Los Angeles Daily News, 2/10).