Duke LifePoint inks deal for fourth NC hospital buy

Agreement calls for $120M in capital investments over next decade

The joint venture between LifePoint Hospitals and Duke University Health System has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in Wilson Medical Center, a health system located east of Raleigh, N.C.

The acquisition of 80 percent of Wilson Medical would bring Duke LifePoint's North Carolina network of holdings to five. In addition to a catheterization services company, the venture already owns two hospitals and has signed a definitive deal to buy a hospital in Rutherfordton, located west of Charlotte. On top of that, it has signed memoranda of understanding with two other hospital systems in the Tar Heel State.

The Wilson Medical system is anchored by a 294-bed hospital and employs about 1,300 people. Its board signed a tentative agreement with Duke LifePoint in September.

“Duke LifePoint is the ideal partner for our hospital as we seek ways to strengthen and grow Wilson Medical Center for the future,” said Jim Pridgen, chairman of the hospital's board. “The due diligence we have conducted over the past several weeks has confirmed the tremendous benefit a relationship with Duke LifePoint can offer our employees, physicians, patients and community. We look forward to taking the next step in our proposed joint venture.”

As part of the agreement, Duke LifePoint has committed to investing $120 million over the next decade to upgrade Wilson Medical's capabilities.