Two weeks after insisting he was "not involved in that company," Gov. Rick Scott finalized a deal Wednesday to sell Solantic Inc., the Jacksonville chain of urgent care clinics he founded.
Scotts sale of the company comes as he attempts to distance himself from repeated conflict-of-interest questions about whether the company he started in 2001 and hoped to develop into a national chain would benefit from the aggressive health care changes he wants state lawmakers to approve.
The sale to Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe makes the New York investment firm the largest shareholder in the company. In 2007, the firm bought a 30 percent share in Solantic when it committed up to $100 million to the company. Two of the firms partners, Thomas A. Scully and D. Scott Mackesy, sit on the board of directors.
Scott put the value of his majority share of the company at $62 million last year in the financial disclosure filed as part of his race. Scott agreed to sell his holdings for less than that amount, but neither side would provide the exact figure of the deal, expected to close April 29.
Selling all the shares would free him from political problems related to the company, an ethics expert said.
This sale obviously takes the question off the table in terms of the conflict, said Kenneth Gross, a Washington, D.C., attorney.
Scott had appeared to satisfy state law when he transferred his shares of the company a few days before he took office to a fund in his wifes name, the Frances Annette Scott Revocable Trust.
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