Bank buys bankrupt Pineville hospital, says it will probably lease it back to local group to keep it operating

Pineville Mayor Scott Madon and others celebrated the takeover and renaming of the hospital during its bankruptcy proceedings. (File photo by Ray Welch, Middlesboro Daily News)

A Tennessee-based bank has bought the 120-bed hospital in Pineville, and says it plans to lease it to a community group that has kept it afloat through bankruptcy.

“First State Bank of the Southeast, which operates branches across Kentucky and Tennessee, closed on its purchase of Pineville Community Healthcare in Bell County last week for $2.6 million, according to state bankruptcy court filings,” Alex Acquisto reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. “The regional bank was the second highest bidder in a sealed bid auction behind Louis Volpini, who bid $7 million on behalf of Cura Healthcare Inc. That group, though, lost its top ranking when it failed to make the required initial deposits, including a 20 percent cash deposit of $1.4 million.” That allowed First State to buy the hospital for $2.8 million on Sept. 5.

The bank will not operate the hospital, and will probably lease it to “a non-profit group of local stakeholders who took over the hospital and changed its name” during the bankruptcy, Acquisto reports, citing John Sosbe of Georgetown, the bank’s attorney in the matter. The hospital is a “major asset to the community and [First State Bank] wants to keep it as an asset to the community,” he said.

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