Ardent hands over Forum Health documents

When formally announced, Ardent Health Services' deal to buy Forum Health in Ohio seemed like it was wrapped up tight. The parties had agreed on pricing and terms, and — perhaps most importantly — Ardent had struck multi-year agreements with the various labor groups representing the three-hospital Youngstown system.

But now Ardent's path toward purchasing Forum is strewn with obstacles.

Most recently, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge ordered the Nashville hospital operator to submit documents requested by MBIA Insurance Corp. for discovery. The Business Journal Daily reports the key documents include memoranda of understanding and other written agreements between Ardent and any of Forum's unions — documents that incorporate negotiated labor agreements that would take effect if Ardent succeeds in buying Forum.

The court did, however, block some of MBIA's information requests, including Ardent's valuations and/or appraisals of Forum or its assets. Click here to get the full rundown of what information Ardent is handing over, and what MBIA requests were denied.

Then, of course, there's the issue of competition. Franklin-based Community Health Systems is now shopping Forum, considering whether to submit a bid above Ardent's $69.8 million offer for the bankrupt system by the August 3 deadline.