Australia's Healthscope initiates $3.5 bln sale - media

SYDNEY Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:33pm EST

SYDNEY Jan 29 (Reuters) - The private equity owners of Australian hospital operator Healthscope have begun the first stage of a A$4 billion ($3.51 billion) planned sale by inviting nine banks to pitch for a role in the process, according to a media report on Wednesday.

TPG and Carlyle Group, the owners of Healthscope, will consider an initial public offering, selling the business to an offshore hospital operator or finding separate buyers for the hospital properties and operating businesses, the Australian Financial Review reported.

Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, CIMB, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Macquarie Capital, Morgan Stanley and UBS have all been asked to apply for a role, the AFR said.

Healthscope, which owns 44 private hospitals in Australia and pathology operations in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand, was not immediately available to comment.