MedCath sells Austin hospital

MedCath (NASDAQ: MDTH) has shed its hospital in Austin, Texas, selling it to local operator St. David's Healthcare.

St. David's paid $83.8 million to buy the 58-bed Heart Hospital from Charlotte, N.C.-based MedCath, which has been on a divestment spree as of late.

"Heart Hospital of Austin has demonstrated that it is one of the top providers of cardiovascular care in the state and nation, and we believe this is a logical extension of St. David's HealthCare's long-standing tradition of excellence in this field," said Jon M. Foster, St. David's CEO. The company owns five other hospitals in the Austin area.

The co-founder of Heart Hospital, cardiology practice Austin Heart, recently merged with St. David's.

Last month MedCath sold its share in 59-bed Arizona Heart Hospital in Phoenix to Vanguard Health for about $31.5 million. It also sold its ownership stake in Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D., for $16 million to one of the facility's co-owners.

After a fiscal year where it lost more than $50 million, MedCath last spring formed a strategic options committee to weigh selling either the entire chain or some of its properties. It now operates seven hospitals nationwide, though some analysts see the company methodically selling its properties over the next several years.

For more:
- read the Charlotte Business Journal article
- read the St. David's press release
- check out MedCath's press release