The group, lead by husband-wife duo Tianqiao Chen and Chrissy Luo, filed a form 13D, revealing a 13.74% stake in the debt-laden hospital system Monday.
Community's shares were down 1.5% Tuesday after market's open, hitting $9.25 apiece.
"I have to wonder whether they didn't take this action to negotiate with Community to eliminate a renewal of the shareholder rights plan," Mizuho analyst Sheryl Skolnick said by phone Tuesday.
She noted that a temporary shareholder rights plan that Community previously put in place will expire in April, adding that Shanda revealing this stake could "make Community Health more comfortable" She noted that a temporary shareholder rights plan that Community previously put in place will expire in April, adding that Shanda revealing this stake could "make Community Health more comfortable" with eliminating the takeover defense.
A source familiar with Shanda Group said the company does not plan to change its investment strategy. Rather, the filing will allow the company flexibility in the future.
According to the filing, Shanda intends "to engage with [Community's] management team regarding [its] business and operations and the status of the [its] ongoing turnaround strategy."
Some have theorized that Shanda could attempt to purchase Community in full, but Skolnick said she doesn't see this happening. Given that Shanda, though it's based in Singapore, has significant interests in China, a deal would be subject to significant review, both from the Chinese and the U.S. governments.
"I don't think it's feasible for them to make a tender offer for the company from a valuation perspective," Skolnick said by phone. "I also don't think it's possible from a policy perspective."
Community is in the midst of divesting several assets in hopes of using the proceeds to pay down debt. In January, CEO Wayne Smith indicated that the company had received interest in at least 20 hospitals.
Since then, Community has been sloughing off sluggish assets and investments. On Sept. 29 the company announced an agreement to sell four rural hospitals, three in Mississippi and one in Florida, to privately held, not-for-profit hospital operator Curae Health Inc. There had been some question of whether Curae had the financial health to pay in full for these assets, but Skolnick said Tuesday that it appears that the divestitures will be successful.
On Oct. 17, the company revealed plans to sell an 80% stake in its home health unit to Almost Family Inc. (AFAM) for $128 million. On Nov. 17, Community said it has agreed to sell its Rockwood Health System and associated assets to MultiCare Health System for $425 million.
And, most recently, on Feb. 17, Community sold eight hospitals to subsidiaries of Cerberus Capital Management LP-backed Steward Health Care LLC.
The company plans to complete these divestitures by mid-July. This set of divestitures is expected to raise a total of $2 billion in proceeds, with a multiple of eight to 10 times Ebitda.