MACON, Ga. (AP) _ Top officers of the Charter Medical Corp. have proposed a leveraged buyout of the hospital company, it was announced Monday.

Charter Medical announced that it has received a leveraged buyout proposal from senior managers, led by William A. Fickling Jr., chairman, president and chief executive officer.

The plan calls for the officers to buy all shares of Class A and Class B common stock not already owned by them, for $40 per share.

Fickling and his family already own about 29 percent of the company's 31 million shares of common stock. That includes about 92 percent of Class B common stock, providing about 75 percent of the company's outstanding voting power, a company statement said.

Tom Moldenhauer, the company's executive director of corporate relations, said late Monday that he could not provide the number of shares already owned by other members of the management team headed by Fickling.

Charter Medical said the proposal is subject to a number of considerations, including a determination by the company that the price is fair, and negotiation of a merger agreement between the company and a corporation formed by Fickling.

It is anticipated that after such a merger, Charter Medical employees would own, through an employee stock ownership plan, a majority of the shares of the surviving company, the Charter Medical statement said.

Charter Medical's board of directors will form a special committee of non- management directors to consider the proposal, the company announced.

Moldenhauer said no additional details were available.