We were startled to learn recently that Sheridan Healthcare Inc., a physician services company based in Florida, has bought one of the largest private anesthesiology group practices in California, the Medical Anesthesia Consultants Medical Group Inc. (MAC) of San Ramon.
The deal, which closed November 14, is Sheridan’s first in California, and “provides a platform that will accelerate our expansion in the California marketplace,” said John Carlyle, Sheridan’s CEO, in a recent statement.
By all accounts, MAC is a well-respected and highly successful anesthesia practice, with more than 100 physicians—shareholders, non-shareholders, and independent contractors—who provide anesthesiology services to five hospitals and 23 ambulatory surgery settings in northern California. So why did this group decide to sell?
Was this a hostile takeover, or did hospital administrators force the group’s hand? Not at all, says a senior partner in the MAC group (who prefers not to be named). The senior shareholders actively sought a purchaser, hired an investment bank to broker the deal, and voted unanimously to approve it. Apparently, there are no plans yet to hire nurse anesthetists or change the MD-only composition of the group. Hospital administrators didn’t instigate the sale but all supported it, the anesthesiologist said. “For us right now, it looked like the right thing to do.”
It’s doubtful that the non-shareholders in MAC are quite as enthusiastic.