ST. LOUIS — A bankruptcy judge on Thursday approved the sale of St. Alexius Hospital in south St. Louis to an entity backed by owners of nursing facilities and addiction treatment centers.
The buyer is called SA Hospital Acquisition Group LLC, with health care executives Lawrence Feigen and Ben Kleinbeing primary backers. SA bid about $17 million for St. Alexius' real and personal property. The transaction could close Aug. 21.
Judge Gregory Schaaf cast aside a protest from a creditor of the hospital's current parent company, Americore Holdings. The creditor, Third Friday Fund Total Return LP, of Delray Beach, Florida, had submitted its own plan to take over the facility.
It alleged Wednesday that Americore's trustee, Carol Fox, had improperly excluded it as a qualified bidder for Americore's assets, instead favoring the SA Hospital bid.
But Schaaf said evidence "raised numerous legitimate concerns" regarding Third Friday's intentions. He cited possible fraudulent transfers from St. Alexius accounts to Third Friday, and Third Friday's attempts to file liens, when "loan and collateral documents suggest the security interest does not attach to St. Alexius assets."
Schaaf also said that Fox has "accomplished a lot" in the bankruptcy case, and so her "judgment deserves some consideration."
Fox testified Wednesday that Third Friday was unable to show proof of funds to execute its $27 million takeover plan.
Americore filed bankruptcy in December, following numerous lawsuits, including in St. Louis, alleging it was not paying critical service providers.
In February, Schaaf installed Fox as Americore's trustee — and effective CEO of St. Alexius — as an official in the bankruptcy case alleged that Americore's CEO, Grant White, was under criminal and civil investigation and could not properly manage St. Alexius and other facilities.
Click here for the full story.