UNC's top executive issued an official response this afternoon rejecting WakeMed's unsolicited offer to buy rival Rex Healthcare for $750 million.
The UNC Health Care System bought Rex in 2000 for $290 million, and is using the Raleigh-based hospital system to expand its operations in Wake County
Here is the prepared statement from UNC President Tom Ross:
"Today I received a letter from the CEO and the board chair of WakeMed proposing to purchase Rex Healthcare and all its assets from the UNC Health Care System for $750 million.
The letter offers few specifics and leaves many unanswered questions.
UNC Health Care and the UNC School of Medicine have a three-part mission: providing high-quality medical care to citizens from all over North Carolina, regardless of their ability to pay; conducting cutting-edge research that improves patient treatment and care; and educating the next generation of physicians.
Carrying out those core responsibilities in today’s complex world requires that we have strong partnerships with a wide range of schools, hospitals, researchers, physicians, and patients.
That is why Rex and Chatham Hospital joined the UNC Health Care System, why we are expanding our medical school training in Charlotte and Asheville, and why we have a network of cancer researchers and clinicians throughout the state.
In this uncertain health care environment, it is critically important that we maintain a long-term vision for the UNC Health Care System that extends beyond the current budget crisis.
I do not believe that divesting UNC Health Care of Rex in order to generate one-time revenue for the state is in the long-term best interests of the people of North Carolina, and it would damage our ability to fully carry out our mission.
The Executive Committee of the UNC Health Care Board of Directors met in closed session today to discuss the WakeMed proposal, and a regular meeting of the full board is scheduled for Monday.
Given its fiduciary responsibility to the people of North Carolina, the UNC Health Care board will consider the offer carefully and conduct extensive due diligence."