US-based RegionalCare Hospital Partners, a Warburg Pincus portfolio company, has signed a definitive agreement to merge with Essent Healthcare, a portfolio company of Vestar Capital Partners and Cressey & Company.

RegionalCare plans to continue its recently started campus consolidation plans in Paris, maintain its commitment to physician recruiting and retention, and make appropriate capital investments at individual hospitals.

The merger will establish a seven-hospital system with facilities in Texas, Alabama, Connecticut, Ohio, Iowa and Pennsylvania.

RegionalCare will retain all employees of the merged organisation and will keep the hospital management teams in place. Martin Rash will continue to serve as RegionalCare’s chairman and CEO.

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory reviews and approvals, and is expected to close by the fourth quarter of this year.