CHICAGO - Fitch Ratings yesterday shifted its BBB rating on Condell Medical Center in Illinois to positive ratings watch from negative on $130 million of debt in recognition of the recent announcement that the AA-rated Advocate Health Care Network will acquire Condell.

Condell carries $54 million of debt issued in 2002 and another $76 million sold in 2000. Advocate and Condell announced earlier this month that they had signed a definitive agreement that paves the way for Condell to join the Advocate network. The deal requires state and federal approval and the review process could take up to five months.

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