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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Grupo HIMA sells ambulance assets, obtains extension for planned debt deal



HIMA San Pablo Hospital in Caguas

By The Star Staff


Grupo HIMA hospital system informed the bankruptcy court this week that it has found a buyer for its Jerusalem Home Ambulance Inc. assets sale.


The highest successful bidder is B.V.R. Ambulance Best Care LLC with an aggregate offer of $790,000. The assets subject to the sale are mainly licensed vehicles used as ambulances, inventory and equipment used in the ambulances being sold and some other equipment ancillary to the operation of the hospital system’s ambulance business.


“The assets being sold are free and clear of liens and encumbrances with any other creditor other than those granted by way of the DIP financing granted to debtors and approved by the court,” the system said in a motion this week.


The hospital system has already sold some of its assets, including its Caguas, Bayamón and Humacao hospital facilities.


Meanwhile, the judge hearing the case, Enrique S. Lamoutte, has granted Grupo HIMA San Pablo hospital system’s request for an extension until early 2024 of the company’s exclusive rights to file and solicit votes on a Chapter 11 restructuring plan.


Grupo HIMA filed an exclusivity extension motion last week in its Chapter 11 case in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Puerto Rico.


The hospital operator said it is proximate to close on pending hospital sales to shift its focus and resources toward crafting, developing and reconciling the sale strategy with their intent to build up a plan to propose to creditors.


“An extension of the exclusive periods is in the best interest of the Debtors, the estate, creditors, and all stakeholders,” HIMA said.


The request for a 45-day extension of exclusivity would move Grupo HIMA’s plan filing deadline to Jan. 29, with the corresponding solicitation deadline moving to March 29.


Grupo HIMA filed for bankruptcy on Aug. 15 of this year. Since the petition, it has focused on preserving operations and reconciling them with the ongoing proceedings.


The extension intends to give Grupo HIMA an adequate opportunity to stabilize its business operations at the outset of the case and negotiate a plan with its creditors.


Grupo HIMA said it has been immersed in a complex sale effort aimed at transferring no less than four hospital and other operational assets as a going concern.


“Those tasks may seem customary in a reorganization case,” Grupo HIMA said. “However, when coupled with being required to improve profitability and keep up the day-to-day operations of a highly complicated business basically ‘COD’ (cash on demand), with critical cash constraints, while pursuing a complex sale process, such circumstances impose a tantamount task upon the debtors, its personnel, and professionals.”

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