HEALTH

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

NME Mum on Merger Talks: National Medical Enterprises Chairman Jeffrey C. Barbakow, speaking at the company's annual shareholders meeting, had little to say about reports that the hospital chain is in negotiations to acquire Healthtrust Inc. and American Medical Holdings Inc. "We continue to have talks on a number of fronts," Barbakow said. He declined to comment specifically on reports last week that Santa Monica-based NME was trying to acquire the two other companies in a multibillion-dollar transaction that would create the nation's second-largest hospital firm. There had been speculation that Barbakow would announce a deal with the companies at the annual meeting.

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