South Jersey health care merger called off

Cooper University Health Care, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center and St. Francis Medical Center are no longer pursuing a merger.

Cooper announced late Friday it is not going to acquire Lourdes Health System‘s locations in Camden and Burlington, and St. Francis in Trenton.

The medical system signed a letter of intent to pursue the Catholic hospitals in August.

“Cooper University Health Care has undertaken substantial and exhaustive due diligence with respect to the proposed transaction that included a comprehensive review of compliance, legal, regulatory and operational issues,” Cooper said in a release.

Officials did not elaborate on which issues specifically ended the pursuit of acquisition.

“We are disappointed that our three systems could not reach a final agreement on this strategic partnership,” Lourdes and St. Francis said in a joint statement. “We wish Cooper all the best and look forward to serving New Jersey together with them for a long time. Our focus remains on the people we serve. Our colleagues and clinical team will continue to provide compassionate, exemplary and award-winning care. We, along with Trinity Health, will continue to support our teams in delivering care. We will continue to pursue strategic partnerships that are consistent with our mission to be a transforming and healing presence in our communities.”

Cooper CEO Adrienne Kirby said: “Our team has invested thousands of hours and millions of dollars in reviewing the proposed transaction. Based upon this review, unfortunately, we will not be able to consummate the contemplated transaction.  We are all disappointed, but did not make this decision lightly.”

Kirby also wished Lourdes and St. Francis well in their future endeavours.