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Tenet to acquire Vanguard Health for $1.73bn

Deal valued at $4.3bn.

Tenet Healthcare Corporation has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Vanguard Health Systems for a cash consideration of $1.73bn, or $21 per share.

The deal is valued at $4.3bn and includes an assumption of $2.5bn in Vanguard debt. Tenet plans to fund the acquisition through secured fully committed financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Private equity firm Blackstone Group holds 38% share, the largest, in Vanguard and will reportedly earn over $600m in the sale.

In addition to expanding Tenet’s total ownership to 79 hospitals and 157 outpatient facilities, the deal will enable the company spread its geographic footprint to 16 states, including two new markets in Texas, while widening its service offerings.

Tenet currently operates 49 hospitals and 126 outpatient centres while Vanguard owns 28 acute care and specialty hospitals and services in the states Illinois, Arizona, Michigan, Texas and Massachusetts.

Trevor Fetter, president and CEO of Tenet, said: “This unique strategic transaction will bring together organizations that share a common commitment to providing high quality care and create significant new growth prospects for Tenet.

“We also believe that a combination with Vanguard will open an important new avenue of growth among not-for-profit health systems where Vanguard has built a tremendous reputation for being a creative strategic partner.”

The acquisition, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, is expected to close by the end of 2013.

Upon closing of the deal, Charlie Martin, founder, chairman and CEO of Vanguard, will join Tenet’s board. Keith Pitts, vice chairman of Vanguard, will join the senior management team of Tenet as vice chairman.

Martin said: “Together, we now have the scale and strength to achieve the vision we have pursued in parallel.”

Photo: Getty Images
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When will the government take action to tackle the plight of circus animals?

Britain is lagging behind the rest of the world - and innocent animals are paying the price. 

It has been more than a year since the Prime Minister reiterated his commitment to passing legislation to impose a ban on the suffering of circus animals in England and Wales. How long does it take to get something done in Parliament?

I was an MP for more than two decades, so that’s a rhetorical question. I’m well aware that important issues like this one can drag on, but the continued lack of action to help stop the suffering of animals in circuses is indefensible.

Although the vast majority of the British public doesn’t want wild animals used in circuses (a public consultation on the issue found that more than 94 per cent of the public wanted to see a ban implemented and the Prime Minister promised to prohibit the practice by January 2015, no government bill on this issue was introduced during the last parliament.

A private member’s bill, introduced in 2013, was repeatedly blocked in the House of Commons by three MPs, so it needs a government bill to be laid if we are to have any hope of seeing this practice banned.

This colossal waste of time shames Britain, while all around the world, governments have been taking decisive action to stop the abuse of wild animals in circuses. Just last month, Catalonia’s Parliament overwhelmingly voted to ban it. While our own lawmakers dragged their feet, the Netherlands approved a ban that comes into effect later this year, as did Malta and Mexico. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, North America’s longest-running circus, has pledged to retire all the elephants it uses by 2018. Even in Iran, a country with precious few animal-welfare laws, 14 states have banned this archaic form of entertainment. Are we really lagging behind Iran?

The writing has long been on the wall. Only two English circuses are still clinging to this antiquated tradition of using wild animals, so implementing a ban would have very little bearing on businesses operating in England and Wales. But it would have a very positive impact on the animals still being exploited.

Every day that this legislation is delayed is another one of misery for the large wild animals, including tigers, being hauled around the country in circus wagons. Existing in cramped cages and denied everything that gives their lives meaning, animals become lethargic and depressed. Their spirits broken, many develop neurotic and abnormal behaviour, such as biting the bars of their cages and constantly pacing. It’s little wonder that such tormented creatures die far short of their natural life spans.

Watching a tiger jump through a fiery hoop may be entertaining to some, but we should all be aware of what it entails for the animal. UK laws require that animals be provided with a good quality of life, but the cruelty inherent in confining big, wild animals, who would roam miles in the wild, to small, cramped spaces and forcing them to engage in unnatural and confusing spectacles makes that impossible in circuses.

Those who agree with me can join PETA’s campaign to urge government to listen to the public and give such animals a chance to live as nature intended.


The Right Honourable Ann Widdecombe was an MP for 23 years and served as Shadow Home Secretary. She is a novelist, documentary maker and newspaper columnist.