Health Management Gains on Report It May Be Target

Health Management Associates Inc., a hospital operator considering strategic alternatives, reached its highest market value in six years after a news report said the company has attracted takeover interest.

Health Management shares rose 8.3 percent to $16.75 at the close in New York, the highest price since March 2007. The Naples, Florida-based company has attracted interest from Community Health Systems Inc., the second-largest publicly traded U.S. hospital company, and other rivals, Reuters reported today, citing people familiar with the matter.

Health Management, which operates 71 hospitals in the U.S., said last month it had hired Morgan Stanley and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP as advisers to consider strategic alternatives in the face of pressure from its largest shareholder, Glenview Capital Management LLC, to oust the board and top executives. MaryAnn Hodge, a spokeswoman for Health Management, said the company doesn’t intend “to disclose developments with respect to the foregoing until such time as the board deems further disclosure appropriate.”

Glenview, which holds about 15 percent of the company’s shares, has criticized the leadership’s “substandard strategic and financial approach.” Glenview declined through a spokeswoman to comment on today’s report.

A spokesman for Franklin, Tennessee-based Community Health didn’t respond to a message seeking comment.

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