Looks like the leaders of Vanguard Health Systems will continue to have the same number of big rivals in Detroit after the Henry Ford and Beaumont hospital systems called off an ambitious merger plan this week. Combined, the two organizations run eight hospitals that posted a 2012 profit of $162 million on $6.6 billion in revenues. Vanguard's Detroit Medical Center organization comprises nine hospitals that posted 2012 revenues of almost $2 billion. Shares of Vanguard (Ticker: VHS) are up about 2 percent this morning and are flat for the year.
Brilliance Audio, Inc., has signed an agreement for the exclusive global distribution rights of the hard goods products of Nashville-based Thomas Nelson and Zondervan — the two publishing groups that form HarperCollins Christian Publishing.
The three-year partnership, financial terms of which are not being disclosed, includes all front list and select back-list titles for non-fiction trade and fiction audio products in CD and MP3 CD format.
Related to the agreement, past favorites from Rick Warren, Max Lucado, Colleen Coble and Lysa TerKeurst, among others, will be included in the available backlist CD products.
Brilliance Audio is based in Grand Haven, Mich. Of note, Zondervan is based in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The announcement follows HarperCollins Christian Publishing’s April announcement that it finalized a licensing agreement with Spanish publishing house Editorial CLIE.
“With certain backlist titles being available in hard goods for the first time, this new partnership will increase our audio presence in the world’s retail and libraries markets,” Cat Zappa, director of licensing for HarperCollins Christian Publishing, said in a release.
Vanguard Health Systems has had to put almost $28 million into an escrow account after its plan to invest a total of $850 million by 2016 fell behind schedule last year. The company (Ticker: VHS) spent $240 million through the end of 2012 and Vice Chairman Keith Pitts told the Free Press the big plan is still intact.
Things are going pretty well for Vanguard Health Systems in Detroit, where it has been pumping millions into renovating and expanding its Detroit Medical Center network. But big changes are in the offing both internally — CEO Mike Duggan has said he will step down soon — and beyond the company's walls — in the shape of a big merger by two rival systems. Dale Buss at The Detroit News takes a close look at how both dynamics are unfolding.
When Vanguard bought the DMC, it promised a capital spending splurge on facility renovations and improvements through 2021 in a bid not only for more suburban customers, but also as a gamble on the city's comeback.
"It's a bet that, 10 years from now, the population will return and the downtown area will become vibrant again," said Whit Mayo, health facilities securities analyst for Robert W. Baird & Co., which has received investment banking compensation from Vanguard.
Publishing group HarperCollins is continuing with its merger of Thomas Nelson and Michigan-based Christian publishing peer Zondervan. Execs have named Daisy Hutton, who joined Thomas Nelson in Nashville four years ago, to lead a united fiction group.
"We have the opportunity to take Christian fiction to a new level by supporting two strong publishing legacies while at the same time preparing to move into the new digital frontier," said David Moberg SVP & Group Publisher, Harper Collins Christian Publishing. "We intend to maintain separate teams for publishing, editorial and marketing for both Thomas Nelson and Zondervan where it makes sense strategically. However, I have no doubt that our fiction presence will only benefit from Daisy’s leadership."
SEE ALSO: Other Thomas Nelson news since the HarperCollins sale news last Halloween