Feb 14, 2017

Activist hedge fund bails on Community Health Systems

Laredo Medical Center in Texas, owned by Community Health Systems. (Wikimedia Commons)

North Tide Capital has sold off its entire stake in the struggling for-profit hospital chain Community Health Systems, new regulatory filings show.

North Tide, a Boston-based hedge fund with $2.3 billion of assets and founded by Conan Laughlin, had owned 5.5 million shares but divested the entire lot. North Tide ramped up its ownership in Community Health Systems last year, at one pointing owning 13% of the company. Laughlin did not respond to interview requests.

Why this matters: This is the second big investor to give up on Community Health Systems in a year. In early 2016, Larry Robbins of Glenview Capital Management ditched the company, which has posted heavy losses over the past two years. Community Health Systems has had to sell a lot of its hospitals after the disastrous 2014 acquisition of Health Management Associates, and its stock has plummeted by almost 90% since June 2015. Community Health Systems mostly owns rural hospitals, many of which are located in southern states that did not expand Medicaid under Obamacare.

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