Cash

Investors have taken in stride a plan by Community Health Systems executives to convert $700 million of the company’s debt into cash and stock.

Franklin-based CHS on Monday morning said it has agreed to pay an unspecific investment manager $400 million and give it 10 million shares — worth about $85 million — in exchange for the $700 million worth of 2028 notes that are paying 6.875 percent in interest. The identity of the investor involved is likely to become public in the next few months: Its 10 million shares will amount to about 7.5 percent of CHS’ outstanding stock, making it one of the largest equity investors in the company.

CHS, which has been selling dozens of hospitals in recent years to generate cash, paid down $226 million of its 2028 debt in the third quarter. Following the exchange — which should be completed this week and will save the company $48 million annually in interest — it will have $767 million remaining on that set of notes.

CHS finished September with nearly $13 billion of long-term debt.

CHS shares (Ticker: CYH) closed Friday at $8.65. On Tuesday afternoon, they were changing hands at $8.60. They began this tumultous year around $2.50 and began rallying from about $4.40 in mid-October. Soon after, the company reported stronger-than-expected results and said Wayne Smith will make way as CEO Jan. 1 in favor of Tim Hingtgen.

This story first ran in our partner publication the Nashville Post.

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