Written in response to an article about Ohio nursing home operator Ralph E. Hazelbaker's efforts to acquire the Americare division of financially troubled Care Enterprises Inc. of Tustin.
Reference is made to your article of Jan. 9 by Leslie Berkman relating to Care Enterprises Inc. ("Paradigm Revises Bid for Care Enterprises").
In general, the article conveys an air of antipathy toward Care that at no point in my interview did I convey to Ms. Berkman. On the contrary, I went to great lengths to state that we (Charterhouse) were hoping to aid in resolving the animosity between Mr. Hazelbaker and Care in order to create a commercially reasonable transaction which would assist Care in restructuring its debt for the benefit of all of its stockholders.
My only mention of mismanagement related to the legal proceedings pending between the Hazelbaker group and Care pursuant to which the Hazelbaker group has alleged mismanagement of certain facilities by Care. I did state that the Hazelbaker group felt that if it were successful in acquiring Americare, it expected to improve the marketing of the Americare facilities as well as the private pay mix and the overall occupancy rate, all with a much smaller head office and regional staff than Care currently maintains. I further stated that, based on publicly available information, it appeared that Care's private pay patients and occupancy were lower than the industry norm.
My comments were intended to set forth the reasons for the Hazelbaker acquisition of Americare and not as an attack on Care.
PETER S. WISHER