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Colorado Attorney General Approves $328M Weld, Banner Health Deal

North Colorado Medical Center
Stephanie Daniel

Weld County will move forward with plans to sever ties with the North Colorado Medical Center, after Attorney General Phil Weiser approved the sale of its remaining assets to Banner Health.

In an opinion issued Wednesday, Weiser found the transaction, valued at $328.4 million, will “not result in a material change to the charitable purposes to which the assets of the hospital have been dedicated.”

“Banner Health has said it is committed to continuing to provide important health care services to the residents of Northern Colorado,” Weiser said in a statement. “During the review my office conducted, we heard from many members of the community who are excited that a new trust established from proceeds from this transaction will allow the county to provide additional services to residents.”

In August, Weld County announced plans to sell its remaining assets associated with North Colorado Medical Center to Banner, which has operated the facility since 1995. Weld has had ties to the hospital since 1904, when it was built on county-owned land.

Over time, the county has slowly distanced itself from day-to-day operations. Barbara Kirkmeyer, a Weld County commissioner, said in a statement that the deal with Banner represents the government’s final step out the door.

“The attorney general listened to those who supported the sale because of what it would mean for Weld County residents, but he also did his due diligence in making sure Banner Health would continue to provide top-notch health care here in Colorado,” Kirkmeyer said. “The approval of this deal is truly a victory for Weld County residents who will directly benefit in so many ways from the new programs and resources that will be created and provided to them through the sale proceeds.”

Margo Karsten, CEO of Banner’s hospitals in Northern Colorado, said in a statement Wednesday that the deal was a “great opportunity for Weld County.”

“We appreciate the attorney general taking the time to visit Greeley and hear all the support for this transaction,” Karsten said. “This process has highlighted the strength of our relationships in Weld County and how closely we work together to improve the health of the community.”

Now that the deal has passed the state's muster, the $328.4 million in proceeds will be divided up.

According to Weld County, $209.5 million will go toward bond debt held by the Colorado Health Facilities Authority, a financing vehicle for healthcare facilities formed by the state legislature.

The remaining $118.9 million will be split into two philanthropic efforts.

The Weld commissioners will get $59.4 million to help fund the Bright Futures Program, a workforce development effort. NCMC Inc., a private non-profit that manages the operating agreement for the hospital, will get $59.5 million to help start a new charitable foundation.

According to the transaction agreement, the sale is set to close on Oct. 9.

I cover a wide range of issues within Colorado’s dynamic economy including energy, labor, housing, beer, marijuana, elections and other general assignment stories.
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