Community Health Systems leaders have agreed to sell the single largest hospital in their network to a large Florida nonprofit group.

Terms of CHS’ sale of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg to Orlando Health aren’t yet being disclosed. The St. Petersburg City Council still needs to approve the deal, which will have Orlando Health take over CHS’ long-term lease and is expected to close by the end of September.

With 480 beds, Bayfront St. Petersburg is 68 beds larger than CHS’ next-biggest facilities, which are located in Missouri and Pennsylvania. Franklin-based CHS has owned the facility since it acquired Health Management Associates at the beginning of 2014. But CEO Wayne Smith and his team have in the past three and a half years sold about half their portfolio — including many former HMA hospitals — to help cut their debt load by nearly $6 billion. Two months ago, they said the formal push to unload more facilities was over.

Orlando Health runs 13 hospitals and a range of other locations and has $5.6 billion of assets under management across nine Florida counties. Earlier this year, it agreed to buy from CHS an 84-bed hospital south of Orlando. Bayfront St. Petersburg would be its first presence in the Tampa area.

Shares of CHS (Ticker: CYH) were down more than 5 percent to about $2.83 in midday Friday trading. They are roughly flat for the year but traded above $7 in February.

This post originally appeared in our sister publication, the Nashville Post

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