Briarwood high bid for Integrated care chain

Amount not disclosed, nor are specifics about Md. jobs and offices

January 25, 2003|By Meredith Cohn | Meredith Cohn,SUN STAFF

Integrated Health Services Inc., the bankrupt nursing home operator, said yesterday that Abe Briarwood Corp. submitted the highest bid for its assets, trumping a $327.5 million bid from a rival health care company.

Details of the bid, which came at an auction held Wednesday, were not disclosed, and it is unclear how many employees Briarwood would maintain in Maryland or whether it would seek to keep the Sparks headquarters.

"The details of the bid will be included in the company's plan of reorganization," said Doug Morris, a spokesman for Integrated.

The plan is to be submitted to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for approval. A hearing to approve Briarwood's offer is scheduled for Wednesday. A reorganization plan also is subject to approval by creditors.

Trans Healthcare Inc., which made its bid for Integrated in December, had said it would move its headquarters from Camp Hill, Pa., to Sparks in Baltimore County and retain the 675 employees there.

Integrated has about 180 nursing homes and a rehabilitation services division. It employs 39,000.

Little information on Briarwood was available yesterday. Integrated said in a press release that the buyer was "financially sponsored" by Cammeby's International Ltd., a privately held real estate company. Cammeby's owns, leases and develops commercial and residential properties along the Eastern Seaboard, but makes investments in other businesses, according to the release.

A lawyer representing a committee of the creditors was not available for comment. The creditors have said they support sale of Integrated to Trans Healthcare.

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