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Financially struggling MedCorp Inc., a private ambulance company headquartered in Toledo, is to be sold to a New York private equity firm, a Lucas County Common Pleas judge decided Tuesday.
Judge Gary Cook weighed competing bids from Enhanced Equity Fund LP, which bid $5.3 million, and MedCorp co-founder Richard Bage, who submitted an offer of $5.5 million.
A court-appointed receiver in the MedCorp case said the bids reflected only the cash portion of the company sale and were not materially different from previous bid amounts discussed in court.
Mr. Bage's bid was disqualified, Judge Cook said, in part because Mr. Bage did not provide proof he had financing to back the offer and had not submitted $1 million in earnest money, as required under bid rules.
"The Bage bid, as much as the court has endeavored to give every conceivable opportunity possible to submit a qualified bid, does not stand as a qualified bid," Judge Cook said during Tuesday's hearing.
The judge said he plans to issue a formal order regarding the sale. Enhanced Equity expects to close the deal within 90 days.
Mr. Bage declined comment after the hearing. His attorney, John McHugh III, said Mr. Bage can appeal the pending sale. "I know he is very disappointed in the outcome, and I think he is evaluating his options right now," Mr. McHugh said.
The attorney for receiver Mark Uhrich of Hillyer Group LLC last week had a filing that said MedCorp is generating $700,000 a week in revenue. A separate filing on behalf of the receiver last month said three MedCorp locations in Toledo have been consolidated into the company's headquarters since MedCorp entered receivership in August.
A recent set of bid rules required parties to indicate whether they would keep MedCorp operations in the Toledo area. Enhanced Equity has said it plans to keep the ambulance company's headquarters, administrative functions, and employees in Toledo and retain the MedCorp name.
"This company has endured a very arduous process," Christopher Garcia, Enhanced Equity managing partner, said. "It's a good company with good people, and we hope that we can do nothing but improve it and return it to health."
Mr. Garcia said Tuesday that the company wants to buy or lease MedCorp's current headquarters at 745 MedCorp Drive. The facility is owned by Stickney Avenue Investment, a company owned by Mr. Bage's wife and MedCorp co-founder Laurie Bage. If it isn't possible to stay in the current headquarters, Enhanced Equity said in its bid that it plans to move to another facility in the Toledo area, Judge Cook said.
It's unclear how the Enhanced Equity sale will affect MedCorp's 720 employees at 22 facilities in Ohio, more than 200 of which are in Toledo.
"We don't have any immediate plans to terminate employees, but we have 90 days to figure that out," Mr. Garcia said after Tuesday's hearing. "The business is losing money, so we have to do something to get the business from losing money. So we'll do whatever we need to to return it to profitability."
Enhanced Equity acquired American Ambulette & Ambulance Service Inc., a Dayton emergency transport company, late last year. The equity fund has said that MedCorp and American Ambulette would operate as subsidiaries of a holding company to be formed by Enhanced Equity, if the MedCorp sale goes through.
Contact Sheena Harrison at: email@example.com or 419-724-6103.