Portage Health signs letter of intent to form joint venture with LifePoint Hospitals

HANCOCK – The board of Copper Country-based Portage Health today announced it has signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture with LifePoint Hospitals.

The proposed partnership will give Portage Health additional resources to expand services and invest in hospital growth, according to a press release.

The letter of intent is a non-binding agreement that authorizes Portage Health and LifePoint to move forward with pursuit of the proposed joint venture. Following due diligence and negotiations – projected to take 60 to 90 days – the parties would enter into a definitive agreement. The agreement would then be subject to review by the Attorney General of Michigan before being finalized.

“We selected LifePoint as a partner because of its commitment to physicians, employees, and community,” Steve Zutter, chairman of the Portage Health board, said in the press release. “As part of this joint venture, Portage Health would share ownership and governance of our system while benefiting from financial resources, clinical and quality programs, and management expertise of one of the leading hospital companies in the nation.”

The joint venture with Portage Health will expand LifePoint’s presence in the Upper Peninsula. In September, Duke LifePoint Healthcare, the joint venture partnership between LifePoint and Duke University Health System, acquired Marquette General Health System in Marquette.