Sale of UK's biggest private NHS provider underway

Tue, 01 May 2018 | BUSINESS SALE

Private equity company Bridgepoint is selling Care UK, which is Britain's largest provider of NHS services.

The group, which is being sold in two parts, overseas the provision of surgical clinics and the 11 medical helpline, as well as mobile diagnostic units, GP services and 114 care homes that provide 8,000 beds for the country's elderly population.

According to the Financial Times, the sale of the care home has already begun, with the first round of bids already received by advisor Rothschilds. However, Bridgepoint is also looking to sell its healthcare services business, either as a whole or with prisons, hospitals and the 111 service being sold separately.

Bridgepoint originally took command of Care UK in 2010, purchasing the business as a whole for £420 million. The splitting of the business during the current sales process will see the care home operations go under the hammer first.

Currently, the firm only owns around 35 per cent of its care homes due to financial pressures forcing the firm to sell in recent years. Previous business division sales include as 323 bed mental healthcare business, its domiciliary care business and a learning disabilities business.

According to a spokesperson, it is hoped the sale will make it possible to provide financial returns to creditors. They said: "There [is] still a lot of interest in the sector right now and it [is] time to start returning cash to investors."

Commenting on the sale, Michelle Tempest, partner in healthcare consultancy Candesic, added that splitting the company could help attract the right buyers.

"Even the healthcare business is massively diverse, with healthcare in prisons markedly different from running surgical clinics or the NHS helpline," she said.


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