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UNC wants more details on WakeMed's Rex bid

WakeMed faces a Friday deadline to provide more information about its $750 million offer to buy rival Raleigh hospital Rex Healthcare.

WakMed made its hostile takeover offer last month in a letter to Thomas Ross, president of the UNC system, which has owned Rex since 2000. But that offer included "insufficient information" to evaluate the proposal, Ross wrote in a recent letter responding to WakeMed CEO Bill Atkinson.

Ross is seeking additional data, including how WakeMed will pay for the acquisition, the identity of a "reputable" investment bank advising WakeMed on the deal, commitments regarding retention of Rex employees, and how "such a transaction would comply with Federal anti-trust laws."

Ross wants more information by Friday. "If I receive no response by that date, I will assume the offer is not a serious one and will deem it withdrawn," he wrote.

WakeMed spokeswoman Heather Monackey said officials are working on a written response and expect to have it ready this week.

UNC's Ross adds to leadership team

UNC President Tom Ross has added to his leadership team.

Lyons Gray, a Winston-Salem businessman who served six terms in the N.C., General Assembly before joining the administration of President George W. Bush, has been named Senior Advisor to the President of the 17-campus University of North Carolina. Gray will earn $180,000 for the one-year appointment, which begins March 14.

His is a new position paid by non-state funds, said Joni Worthington, a UNC system spokeswoman.

 In his new role, Gray will provide guidance and assistance on state and federal issues impacting university priorities, as well as university-wide efforts to implement efficiency measures and best practices that reduce overall operating costs.
 
After attending UNC- Chapel Hill, Gray spent more than a decade working for the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company before founding and growing several small businesses.  Appointed to the N.C. House of Representatives in 1989 to represent Forsyth County, he was subsequently elected to the position for six consecutive terms. 

During his 14-year tenure in the General Assembly, he chaired the House Finance Committee, introduced key legislation supporting economic growth and quality of life improvements across the state, and helped advance the $3.2-billion Higher Education Bond Referendum of 2000. 

After leaving public office, Gray served as president of the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership before being nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as chief financial officer of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  He served in that capacity, managing a budget in excess of $7 billion, from 2005 to 2009.
 
Gray is currently vice chairman of the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation, and has previously served on the boards of UNC-Chapel Hill’s General Alumni Association, Salem Academy and College, the UNC School of the Arts Foundation, and the Piedmont Triad Partnership. 

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