Prime Healthcare Services was approved as the buyer and new owner of Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark by a bankruptcy court Thursday.U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Vincent Papalia delivered the decision at about 2:30 p.m.
Prime emerged as the top bidder during an auction last week, with a winning bid of $62 million, just $500,000 more than contending bidder Prospect Medical Holdings.
The for-profit Prime also agreed to invest a total of $50 million in capital improvements, rather than $25 million, over the next five years.
The next step is the regulatory process in which the Attorney General’s office will review the sale and have the final word on approval.
Saint Michael’s was forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August, when the state did not sign off on its sale to California-based Prime, which had been under review for more than two years.