U.S. surgical facility operator Symbion on the block -sources

NEW YORK Fri Nov 8, 2013 12:47pm EST

NEW YORK Nov 8 (Reuters) - Symbion Inc, a surgical facility operator that was taken private in 2007, is up for sale, in a deal that may fetch more than $800 million, people familiar with the matter said.

New York-based private equity firm Crestview Partners LP, which acquired Symbion for $637 million, has hired Morgan Stanley to assist with the effort, the people said on Friday, asking not to be named because the matter is not public.

The potential sale of Symbion would come on the heels of a successful initial public offering last week of industry peer Surgical Care Affiliates, which raised $235 million and trades at around 11 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).

Nashville, Tennessee-based Symbion owns and operates a network of short-stay surgical facilities that provide non-emergency surgical procedures across many specialties, according to its website.

The company has around $80 million in 2013 EBITDA and could fetch more than 10 times in a sale, the people familiar with the matter said. It grew its earnings around 10 percent annually during Crestview's ownership.

Private equity firms, which have been actively buying assets in the healthcare services space, are likely to take a look at Symbion as well, the people familiar with the matter said.

As of the end of September, Symbion owned and operated 49 surgical facilities and managed seven additional facilities in 24 states.

Representatives for Crestview and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

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