No offers, but more interest in Lake Shore

IRVING – Although no offers have come in for TLC Health Network’s Lake Shore Health Care Center, officials at the hospital have renewed hope for a sale.

Scott A. Butler, divisional director of business development, said hospital officials are staying positive.

“No formal offers have been submitted for a sale/buyout. However, we have had three new parties contact us with their interest within the last couple of weeks. Two are from out of town and one is from Upstate New York. Unfortunately, because of the non-disclosure agreements, that’s about all I can tell you about the new parties for now. Things are still looking positive, though,” he explained in an email.

Butler said these three new interested parties are in addition to a local group led by businessman Tony Borrello and an out-of-state company that previously offered consulting services.

“These are in addition to the original two parties for a total of five all together. This does not include the number of parties interested in just our outpatients centers, long-term care, or home health care,” he clarified.

Butler explained it is not yet known what kind of offers the new parties may submit.

“The interested parties are still doing some due diligence, so we cannot be sure what their final proposals will entail yet. But, I believe they are exploring a range of options from formal partnership or merger to an acquisition of all assets with either TLC or a new party as operator,” he said.

Butler also took issue with information printed in Wednesday’s OBSERVER article, “Funding may no longer be available when TLC needs it.” He refuted reports from U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Carl L. Bucki’s Law Clerk Adolph Iannaccone, saying there is no indication that the available $1 million loan from the Dormitory Authority of New York state (DASNY) will not be available in June when the hospital is expected to run through funding it received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“We have been in regular contact with state officials and have updated them on our financial situation and status of potential partnerships. Although, everyone wishes we could get a deal done more quickly, no one has expressed to us displeasure with the progress so far or the direction we are headed in,” he said.

Lake Shore Hospital submitted a closure plan to the New York State Health Department last year in October and in December filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. No closure date has been set and hospital officials have expressed a desire to keep the facility open for a seamless sale. No offer to purchase the hospital has been accepted, or considered by the TLC board, Lake Erie Regional Health System Board or the bankruptcy court.

TLC’s next hearing at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Buffalo is May 12.