ANNOUNCED: Acuity Healthcare LP officials announced the company's transition to an employee-owned company via the implementation of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.
An ESOP is a special kind of benefit plan, in which employees are rewarded for their service and receive ownership through the granting of shares of stock. Acuity Healthcare is a long-term acute care hospital provider and the first employee-owned LTACH company. Currently, it is the only 100 percent employee-owned hospital company in the country.
"We are honored to set a new standard, which will ultimately change the way the health care industry recognizes its employees," said AcuityHealthcare CEO, Ed Cooper. The driving force behind the decision to sell the company to our employees was the desire to establish a plan to preserve the company legacy, its culture, and most importantly our commitment to employees.
"We believe the ESOP fits within our company's culture of giving back to our communities and recognizing our staff for their commitment to excellence in patient care," Cooper added. "We have always taken a very progressive approach to the business of health care. We started AcuityHealthcare in 2001 without outside investors, growing instead through the hard work of our employees, physicians and support of our community."
AcuityHealthcare LP was founded in 2001, with headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. Acuity currently owns and manages 12 LTACHs, including the site in Steubenville at Trinity Medical Center East, as well as Belmont Community Hospital in Bellaire, and soon at Wheeling Hospital and Weirton Medical Center. To learn about Acuity Healthcare, visit www.acuityhealthcare.net.
WTC LOWERS RENT: The owners of the World Trade Center's signature skyscraper are slashing office rents nearly 10 percent because they can't find enough tenants.
The Wall Street Journal reports that 1 World Trade Center is 55 percent leased. It says no private office tenant has signed a lease in almost three years.
The owners are cutting asking rents to $69 a square foot for larger tenants on the building's middle floors. Developer Douglas Durst tells the newspaper that's down from $75 a square foot.
Durst bought a stake in the 1,776-foot tower from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 2011.
Major tenants in the building include magazine publisher Conde Nast and the government's General Services Administration.
The skyscraper, the nation's tallest building, is scheduled to open later this year.
TYSON MAKES OFFER: The largest U.S. meat producer Tyson Foods made a $6.2 billion offer for Hillshire Brands, becoming the fourth party in what was already a three-way acquisition drama.
The struggle for the sausage and lunchmeat maker is driven by the high profitability of packaged, processed products like Jimmy Dean sausage in a time of volatile meat prices. Tyson said Hillshire's brands were complimentary to its own and a combination would provide a "significant lift' to its prepared foods' segment margins.
Tyson's offer comes two days after poultry producer Pilgrim's Pride made a $5.58 billion bid for Hillshire, which also makes Ball Park hot dogs. And both offers come on the heels of Hillshire Brands plan announced earlier this month to acquire Pinnacle Foods, which makes Birds Eye frozen vegetables and Wish-Bone salad dressing, for $4.23 billion.
Tyson said its offer was better than Hillshire's proposed acquisition of Pinnacle and would make a more profitable company and a "clear leader" in the retail sale of prepared foods.
Tyson and other meat producers are facing changing consumer tastes and volatile meat prices. In its most recent second-quarter, Tyson's net income more than doubled, benefiting from strong demand for chicken and higher prices for beef and pork.