|By Tampa Tribune, Fla.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
A private equity firm Wednesday reversed its recent decision to buy the
The purchase, if approved by regulators, will mean big changes at Universal, Patel said.
Layoffs are likely, though Patel would not say how many employees ultimately would be retained.
"The best answer I can give you there is that my involvement will mean anything better than zero," he said. "Because if I don't intervene, then the company is shut down."
Patel's ultimate plan would be to merge Universal with one of his existing health care companies based in
Patel, a cardiologist and philanthropist, made a fortune when he sold WellCare HMO to an investment group. He later bought small
Universal laid off employees in December, has fallen under scrutiny from federal regulators and has been ordered by two states to stop writing new policies.
The federal government last year rated Universal's
Last year, the company reached an agreement with
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