Natchez Regional gets ‘multiple responses’

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 18, 2008

NATCHEZ — The bids are in.

On Monday evening CEO of Natchez Regional Medical Center Scott Phillips said he had received promising bids from several parties interested in purchasing Natchez Regional Medical Center.

However, since the bids are non-binding, it’s more accurate to call them “letters of interest,” Phillips said.

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Terminology aside, Phillips said he’s happy with the bids that have been received so far.

Last week, Phillips said due to the extremely sensitive nature of the bidding and negotiation process, much of the information surrounding the bids and bidders would not be made public.

On Monday evening, Phillips did not reveal the number of bids he had received or any dollar amounts on the bids.

“I have received multiple responses,” he said. “And I think we have a good group.”

Phillips also said it’s also possible some of the bids were sent before the 5 p.m. deadline and he had not received them yet.

Of the bids in Phillips’ possession, all have met the hospital’s previously determined requirements to bid and all have approximately $500 million in annual revenue.

In addition, all of the bidders have the ability to run the hospital in the long-term and would be prepared to develop and grow the facility, Phillips said. Now that the bids are in, Phillips will meet with attorneys for the Adams County Board of Supervisors, hospital board — and start making a lot of phone calls.

“This is where the hard work begins,” he said.

Phillips said he’ll start calling bidders today to “inventory their issues.” That process involves calling bidders to clarify any questions or concerns they have over the bids and possibly negotiate terms in the contract.

Once that’s done Phillips will meet with the Adams County Board and hospital board to make his recommendation as to which buyer is best for the community.

But that meeting won’t likely be until next week, Phillips said.