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By Richard Asinof
WOONSOCKET – The owners of three New Jersey hospitals are continuing to try and advance their counter offer to buy Landmark Medical Center, which they say is $4 million more than the current offer by Prime Healthcare Services of Ontario, Calif.
In a statement, Landmark Hospital Holdco LLC, owned by the principals of Bayonne Medial Center, Hoboken University Medical Center and Christ Hospital, three acute care hospitals in New Jersey, criticized Jonathan N. Savage, the court-appointed special master for the financially troubled Landmark, for not “appropriately considering” their bid, noting that under Savage’s watch, Landmark had “undergone three other failed attempts” over a four-year period.
Landmark Hospital Holdco said that its offer was “economically superior” to Prime’s offer and “more favorable” for patients, staff and the community.
In an unrelated matter, Landmark announced on Nov. 2 that it had laid off 31 employees on Oct. 30, including members of management, administration and patient-care staff.
All 31 employees will receive benefits that include a week’s severance pay and three months of benefits, according to Bill Fischer, spokesman for Savage.
Fischer, whose communications firm receives a $9,000 a month consulting fee for his work as spokesman, claimed that the layoffs would not affect patient care.
In another unrelated matter, Cerberus Capital Management, the New York City private equity firm that owns Steward Health Care, the hospital system that walked away in September from its deal to buy Landmark, may soon be re-entering the Rhode Island market in a different sector – supermarkets. Cerberus is reported to be preparing a bid to buy out Supervalu, the parent company of Shaw’s supermarkets.