Care Enterprises' board of directors has determined that "it is not in the best interests" of the Tustin-based nursing home company to negotiate the sale of any of its facilities to Ralph Hazelbaker, a nursing home operator in Columbus, Ohio.
Care Enterprises announced its decision Thursday in a prepared statement apparently intended to quash repeated attempts by Hazelbaker to buy back nursing home assets that he and other investors sold to Care in 1985.
Hazelbaker has contended that such a transaction would help salvage Care, which is trying to negotiate with its bankers and bondholders a reorganization of debt to avert bankruptcy.
Hazelbaker, who is the principal owner of Paradigm Corp., said in his latest offer that he was willing to pay $66.2 million for 26 of Care's 105 skilled nursing facilities. That offer consisted of $18.7 million cash and the assumption of $47.5 million of Care's debt.