MEDPARTNERS: Is A Buyout Bid In The Works?
Today's Wall Street Journal cites unnamed sources who said "one or more groups are considering making a bid for all or part of" Birmingham, AL-based MedPartners, the giant physician-management company. But MedPartners Chair Richard Scrushy said "no one has stepped forward with an offer." Scrushy said the company has "heard" about a "potential bidder," but he said "we don't know who it is. ... If someone made us an offer, we'd have to consider it, but we're not out there looking for one." MedPartners President and CEO Mac Crawford said, "We're not in discussions with anybody at this point." The Journal notes that the company currently has a "market value of about $2 billion."
Stemming The Red Ink
MedPartners yesterday announced that it will "report a loss of $25.7 million ... in the first quarter, compared with a profit of $44.4 million" in the same period of 1997. The "shortfall narrowed substantially from the fourth quarter, when troubles in its western operations led to massive red ink." Crawford said the company "should return its operations to profitability this year" (Sharpe, 5/7).