Sanford, Fairview to delay merger until May 31

Must read

Sanford Health and Fairview Health Services are postponing their $14 billion merger until May 31, the nonprofit health systems announced Friday.

The delay comes weeks after Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison (D) asked the companies to slow down the deal, which was to close by March 31, while his office continued to review it. At the time, Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based Sanford Health and Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services said they were cooperating with Ellison.

If approved, the merger would create a 50-hospital system with 80,000 employees under the Sanford Health name.

“We continue to work cooperatively with the attorney general’s office to ensure they have the information necessary for their review. In the meantime, we continue to do the important planning work within our organizations to be ready to best serve our patients and people on day one following close,” the companies said in a joint news release Friday.

According to Ellison’s office, however, Sanford Health and Fairview Health Services have not provided all the information the regulator requested.

“Additional time is not enough on its own to ensure that Minnesotans’ interests are protected: The parties need to provide full responses to the attorney general’s office’s requests with sufficient time for review and analysis,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “We are considering all options available to us to secure compliance. Attorney General Ellison s also aware of efforts legislators are exploring and has been in conversation with interested legislators.”

The University of Minnesota, which is home to a Fairview hospital, has express concern that its interests have not been fully considered. Sanford Health CEO Bill Gassen told community members last month that the merged company would honor its standing agreements, set to expire in 2026, with the university and its medical center.

Sanford Health and Fairview Health Services planned to merge a decade ago but the deal fell through in 2013 amid pushback from then-Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson (D).

More articles

Latest article