Universal Health announced plan to buy North Star Behavioral

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Universal Health Systems will buy Anchorage-based North Star Behavioral Health System.

The purchase price was not disclosed. The transaction is expected to be completed Dec. 31.

Universal Health, based in King of Prussia, Pa. originally approached North Star two-and-a-half years ago, said Kathleen Cronen, North Star's chief executive.

Cronen told the Alaska Journal of Commerce that Universal Health's offer stood out because it had both the best culture and the best opportunities.

Kirk Gorman, the company's chief financial officer, said Universal Health is the nation's largest provider of behavioral health care with 40 facilities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. About 20 percent of the company's projected $3.2 billion revenues are expected from behavioral health, according to Gorman.

North Star's system is composed of three facilities and 117 beds in Anchorage and Palmer and generates annual revenues of around $20 million. The organization has operated in Alaska for 18 years.

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