Fitch Ratings last week placed Silver Cross Hospital and Medical Center’s A credit on negative watch as it prepares to refund $89 million of bonds through the Illinois Finance Authority to restructure $80 million of 2005 auction-rate bonds.

The agency’s action reflects the significant increase in debt Silver Cross would issue to construct a 289-bed, $400 million replacement hospital about 3.5 miles from its current home in Joliet, 40 miles southwest of Chicago. The hospital anticipates issuing about $265 million of new-money bonds to help finance the facility. The current facility has 309 beds.

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