MBF backs out of Universal deal

MBF Healthcare Partners, the Coral Gables investment firm, issued a terse announcement Wednesday that it was backing out of a deal announced last week to purchase Universal Health Care Group, a St. Petersburg company.

The statement said the entities “have mutually agreed not to proceed with the acquisition of certain assets.” Last week, MBF said it had signed a letter of agreement to acquire Universal, with plans to close the deal quickly, before the end of March.

An MBF spokeswoman said Wednesday that Miguel “Mike” Fernandez, the leader of the investment group, would not be available for comment.

Tampa Bay area news organizations have reported that Universal has been struggling with financial difficulties. Health News Florida said the insurer has been laying off workers and has been ordered by two states to stop sales.

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