West Penn Allegheny Health System, its bondholders and suitor Highmark Inc. have extended talks and nondisclosure agreements regarding a $475 million affiliation agreement, with an eye toward preventing West Penn from filing bankruptcy.

"In connection with West Penn Allegheny Health System's proposed affiliation with Highmark Inc., these parties and certain WPAHS bondholders previously entered into standstill and nondisclosure agreements, which were due to expire on Jan. 9, 2013. The parties are continuing discussions and have agreed to extend the term of those agreements," West Penn said in a statement posted on the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board's EMMA disclosure website.

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