Michael Fagan, spokesman for Saint Vincent's, could not disclose which hospitals and health systems have submitted bids, but North Shore-LIJ and New York Hospital Queens have shown at least a preliminary interest.Saint Vincent's has put Mary Immaculate and St. John's in Elmhurst on the sales block because it would give the company better access to capital as it undergoes reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which it filed for last July amid $1.1 billion in debt.Once Saint Vincent's chooses the most viable offer for the two Queens hospitals, it will submit the proposal to bankruptcy court. Those offers would then become what is called a "stalking horse," or an initial bid.The next step in what is to be a long process would be for interested parties to submit bids to rival the stalking horse at an auction through bankruptcy court and then a winner would be declared. If the stalking horse loses out to another bidder, St. Vincent's will pay its legal costs.Fagan noted that the sale of Mary Immaculate and St. John's is an "asset sale" and whoever acquires either or both the hospitals would not assume any debt.---Juliet Lewis, spokeswoman for Mary Immaculate, said what makes the more than 100-year-old Jamaica hospital attractive to potential buyers are its Level 1 trauma center, substance and alcohol abuse treatment centers, HIV center and its four nursing home facilities.Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at news@times
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