CHICAGO - St. Louis University is buying back SLU Hospital from Tenet Healthcare and transferring it to SSM Health, one of the state's largest providers.

The university originally sold the 365-bed SLU Hospital to Tenet in 1998. It's buying it back to expand ties with SSM Health, a 19-hospital Catholic stem that operates across Missouri.

As part of the deal, the university will receive a minority membership interest in SSM Health St. Louis, which operates SSM's St. Louis-based facilities. The membership includes financial interest and governance rights, the university said in a press release.

"Partnering with SSM Health, its medical group and extensive network of high-quality community-based services will strengthen our SLUCare practice and give the university's physicians a greater opportunity to provide excellent advanced medical care to more people in the community," Fred Pestello, president of St. Louis University, said in the release.

SSM reportedly wanted to buy SLU Hospital as far back as 1998, but was outbid by Tenet, which paid $300 million.

The university did not disclose the price it will pay Tenet for the hospital.

SSM Health reported $3.9 billion of revenue in 2013. It operates primarily in Missouri but also runs hospitals in Wisconsin, Illinois and Oklahoma. It's rated AA-minus by Fitch Ratings and A-plus by Standard & Poor's and had $1.9 billion of debt as of 2014. The sale is expected to close later this summer.

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