CORRECTED-KKR agrees to buy up to 63 pct of Australian healthcare firm

Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:34am EDT

(Corrects headline, paragraph 1 of June 2012 story to show joint statement said KKR agreed to buy up to 63 pct of GenesisCare, not that it had taken a 63 pct stake)

SYDNEY, June 27 (Reuters) - Buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has agreed to take an up to 63 percent stake in Australia's GenesisCare for an undisclosed sum, as it looks to tap into the growing need for healthcare in the ageing country, the two companies said in a statement on Wednesday.

GenesisCare operates an Australia-wide network of cancer and cardiovascular care centres, employing over 1,000 people in more than 70 clinics and facilities.

KKR, which has been looking at several Australian opportunities in sectors including retail and healthcare, has invested more than $9 billion in healthcare companies since 1995, it said.

The World Health Organisation says Australia's population is ageing, with the number of people aged 65 or more projected to increase to 8.1 million in 2050 from 3 million in 2010.

Health expenditure, currently close to 10 percent of GDP, is rising. (Reporting by Narayanan Somasundaram; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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