Health Care

Wesley parent HCA refiles IPO plans

Hospital operator HCA, the parent company of Wichita's Wesley Medical Center, has refiled plans for a $4.6 billion initial public offering of stock after making a big payment to its current shareholders.

The Nashville, Tenn., company also has reorganized as a holding company under the name HCA Holdings Inc. since May, when it made public plans for what will be its third IPO.

HCA does not say in the latest regulatory filing how many shares it will offer or their expected price range. It plans to list its stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "HCA."

HCA's board approved a $2.1 billion payment to stock and options holders last month, something the company said it planned to do when it reported third-quarter earnings. That payment followed distributions totaling $2.25 billion that the board declared earlier this year.

The company runs 162 hospitals and 104 surgery centers in the U.S. and the U.K. It earned $243 million in the third quarter, as revenue inched up to $7.65 billion.

The hospital operator also is highly leveraged. HCA reported total debt of $26.08 billion as of September and plans to use offering proceeds to pare that, according to a registration statement filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Last week, HCA said that it has signed a letter of intent to purchase Wichita's Galichia Heart Hospital in the first quarter of next year. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

HCA first went public in 1969 with 11 hospitals. It completed a $5.1 billion leveraged buyout in 1988 and then re-emerged as a public company in 1992.

In 2006, a group of investors including Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity, took the company private again in a $21 billion leveraged buyout. That came as HCA struggled with sliding earnings and escalating expenses for the uninsured.

BofA Merrill Lynch, Citi and J.P.Morgan are the lead underwriters of the offering.