TRENTON - The largest hospital chain in New Jersey intends to submit a bid to buy one of its competitors, which filed for bankruptcy last week.

NJ.com reports Barnabas Health hopes to purchase Saint Michael's Medical Center of Newark, which currently has an asking price of $49.1 million.

An Aug. 10 bankruptcy filing was intended to spur Gov. Chris Christie's administration to rule on whether Prime Healthcare Services of California would be granted permission to buy the struggling hospital.

An attorney representing Barnabas Health sent a letter to bankruptcy court Tuesday identifying the chain as "a possible bidder and party in interest."

A St. Michael's spokesman said Prime has signed an asset purchase agreement and has been committed to making the deal while awaiting state approval for over two years.