(This story corrects June 2012 story throughout to show joint statement said KKR agreed to buy up to 63 percent of GenesisCare, not that it had taken a 63 percent stake)
By Narayanan Somasundaram and Stephen Aldred
SYDNEY U.S. buyout firm KKR & Co Ltd (KKR.N) has agreed to take a significant stake in Australia's GenesisCare in a deal which values the company at up to A$600 million ($602 million), two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
KKR has agreed to take a stake of up to 63 percent in the company as it looks to tap into the growing need for healthcare in the country, the two companies said on Wednesday in a statement which did not give a deal value.
GenesisCare, which operates an Australia-wide network of cancer and cardiovascular care centers, has earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of A$55-60 million, one of the sources said.
The deal value is based on a multiple of 10 times the EBITDA, the source added, which means KKR will pay as much as A$378 million for a majority stake in GenesisCare, which employs 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, said it has invested more than $9 billion in healthcare companies since 1995.
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.
KKR's other Australia investments include Bis Industries Ltd, which has operations in coal mining, steel and iron ore, and Seven West Media Ltd (SWM.AX). The U.S. firm has put Bis up for sale, a business valued at around $1.8 billion including debt, sources told Reuters previously.
(Editing by Joseph Radford)