Fairview and Sanford Health scrap $14 billion mega merger

by Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief | August 02, 2023
Business Affairs
Photo of University of Minnesota Medical Center, courtesy of M Health Fairview
Fairview Health Services announced last Thursday that it will not continue the merger process with Sanford Health, squashing a controversial deal that had been in the works for nearly a year.

Sioux Falls-based Sanford Health released a statement saying it had initiated the decision to cancel the merger, while Minneapolis-based Fairview Health followed suit a short time later with its own statement claiming to have ended the merger.

“The significant benefits we identified for a combined system with Fairview Health Services compelled us to exhaust all potential pathways to completing our proposed merger. However, without support for this transaction from certain Minnesota stakeholders, we have determined it is in the best interest of Sanford Health to discontinue the merger process," Sanford Health president and CEO Bill Gassen told KARE 11 in a statement.

The companies announced the merger back in November 2022, seeking to create one of the largest health care providers in the country in what was estimated to be a $14 billion deal. In April, they pushed back their timeline to better cooperate with Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s investigation into the deal, as well as to assuage concerns that the merger was moving too fast, according to the Star Tribune.

“Today, nurses are relieved at the news that the planned merger between Sanford Health and M Health Fairview will not move forward,” said Mary C. Turner, RN, president of the Minnesota Nurses Association, “Since the merger was first announced, nurses have expressed deep concerns that a merger between these two healthcare giants would lead to the loss of healthcare access across Minnesota, but especially throughout our rural communities. Additionally, this planned merger threatened the future of healthcare in our state by putting the future of the University of Minnesota, including its medical school, into question. Minnesotans have come to expect a high standard of care and nurses are relieved that we will continue to be able to provide that care and protect our profession.”

This wasn't the first time Fairveiw and Sanford Health have scrapped merger plans. A similar deal was proposed and ultimately abandoned in 2013.

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