American Hospital Supply Corp., which earlier this week agreed to be acquired by Baxter Travenol Laboratories, announced Thursday that Frank A. Ehmann has been named president and chief operating officer.
Ehmann, who had been executive vice president for the hospital sector, replaces Harold G. Bernthal, who was named vice chairman. Karl D. Bays remains chairman. The Evanston, Ill.-based firm did not elaborate on reasons for the changes, and attempts to reach company officials were unsuccessful.
The company announced Monday that it would merge with Deerfield, Ill.-based Baxter Travenol in a cash and securities deal valued at about $3.8 billion. American Hospital Supply had been involved in intensive merger negotiations with Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corp. of America when Baxter Travenol made its initial offer in June.
Mary J. Yost, who tracks American Hospital Supply as an analyst with San Francisco-based Montgomery Securities, said the timing of the announcement was "weird," but she cautioned that one "shouldn't read too much into it."
She speculated that Ehmann's promotion might have been planned under the proposed Hospital Corp. merger and that American Hospital Supply decided to go ahead with it even though the deal fell through.
"Frank (Ehmann) was going to be head of something when the HCA merger was going on, and it may well be that this was a continuation of something that was planned," she said.