Chinese billionaire Tianqiao Chen is once again raising eyebrows in the healthcare sector, after significantly increasing his stake in struggling healthcare organization Community Health Systems, which is based in Franklin, Tennessee.
According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, now owns 22.1 percent of CHS' outstanding shares of common stock after buying up roughly 9.8 million additional shares over the last week. The price per share varied from $6.1 to $8 per share.
The purchases were made through Chen's various Shanda affiliates, documents showed.
The big stock buy will inevitably be viewed by at least some as a move to take a bigger interest in the struggling company, something that has been speculated about in the past when Chen first came on the scene and bought a large block of stock in the company last year.
A spokesperson for Shanda Group issued the following statement. "Shanda maintains a good relationship with the CYH management team and intends to engage with them regarding business and operations, and the status of CYH's ongoing turnaround strategy."
CHS has been in the news lately as it forges ahead with its ambitious divestiture plan to offload 30 hospitals in hopes of alleviating its billions-large debt load and tightening up its operations. So far the company has sold 20 of those hospitals and has plans in the works to unload the remaining ten. It has also said in a recent earnings call that they are entertaining plans to sell even more, but no definitive details have been released.