The deal that turned around the financially strapped The Westerly Hospital – a restructuring overseen from 2011 to 2013 by the Rhode Island Superior Court – has received recognition from a national network of financial professionals.
The Merger & Acquisition Advisor, based in New York City, announced recently that the hospital’s acquisition in 2013 by Lawrence & Memorial Hospital of New London, Conn., would receive its annual Turnaround Award as Deal of the Year in the health care sector. The Westerly Hospital filed for receivership in December 2011 after struggling to pay its creditors and employees. Superior Court Associate Justice Brian Stern appointed attorney Mark Russo as special master to run the hospital during the receivership and to seek bids for its acquisition. Judge Stern presided over dozens of hearings and conferences in the process.
“This is a tangible demonstration that there is a real alternative to federal bankruptcy for organizations in financial distress, in particular where the state has a major policy, health or public protection interest,” Judge Stern said.
Lawrence & Memorial made several commitments in its purchase of The Westerly Hospital. It pledged to invest in capital upgrades to the facility and equipment over the next five years, to invest in a turnaround plan aimed at achieving long-term viability, to operate it as an acute care facility for at least five years, to maintain its nonprofit status, to assure local representation on its governing board and to retain The Westerly Hospital name.
The Merger & Acquisition Advisor cited the following corporate participants for their roles in the hospital’s turnaround: Russo’s law firm of Ferrucci Russo, Nixon Peabody LLP, Deloitte Corporate Finance LLC, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP, DiGennaro Palumbo LLP, Duff & Phelps, Lawrence & Memorial’s corporate parent LMW Healthcare Inc., RR Donnelley, The Westerly Hospital, and Transition Hospital Co. LLC.
Advisor Turnaround Awards will be presented March 11.