WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) _ Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London, Conn. has submitted a $69 million bid to purchase Westerly Hospital.

Mark Russo, the special master in charge of Westerly Hospital’s receivership, filed a petition Wednesday in Rhode Island Superior Court to accept what is known as a “stalking horse” bid from the Connecticut hospital.

The bid, which includes assuming $22 million of Westerly Hospital’s debt, will be used as a base for other competing bids.

Russo told The Day of New London newspaper that five or six hospital systems have expressed preliminary interest in submitting a rival bid by a July 30 deadline.

Under the deal, Westerly Hospital would remain as an acute care, community hospital for at least 5 years.

The hospital entered receivership in December.

.(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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