September 28, 2016 / 12:55 PM / 3 years ago

Bridgepoint to list French hospital group Medipole: sources

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Private equity investor Bridgepoint is stepping up preparations to list France’s second-largest independent private hospital group Medipole on the stock exchange by the end of the year, in a deal potentially valuing the company at about 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion), people close to the matter said.

The investor, which is working with Goldman Sachs (GS.N), Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Societe Generale (SOGN.PA) on the initial public offering, has invited analysts to listen to Medipole presentations in the second week of October, one of the people said.

The company is likely to announce its intention to float on Euronext by late October with a view to listing less than 50 percent of the shares four weeks later, the people said.

Bridgepoint, Medipole and the banks declined to comment or were not immediately available for comment.

Bridgepoint is hoping to benefit from buoyant equities markets, which have been on the rise due to central banks’ low interest rates and a lack of investment alternatives.

Medipole posted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 70 million euros on revenues of 460 million euros in the first half of 2016.

A valuation of 1.5 billion euros would be roughly in line with the EBITDA multiple that German healthcare group Fresenius (FREG.DE) agreed to pay this month in its 5.8 billion euros deal for Spain’s biggest private hospital chain, Quironsalud.

Quironsalud has 43 hospitals across Spain and expects to make sales of about 2.5 billion euros and EBITDA of 460-480 million euros this year.

Medipole operates 62 facilities with about 2,500 practitioners and 9,000 healthcare personnel, who treated approximately 1.1 million patients in 2015, mainly in the regions of Occitanie, Nouvelle Aquitaine, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Hauts de France.

Medipole, in which Bridgepoint has been invested since 2011, merged with peer Medi-Partenaires in 2014. As part of a portfolio rejig, the group acquired a clinic in Agen last month, while divesting clinics in the Paris area.

In August, Bpifrance took a stake in Medipole with a 95 million euro investment in the group.

France is the second-largest healthcare market in Europe after Germany, with total annual expenditure growing at an annual average of 4 percent, hitting 246 billion euros, or 12 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, in 2014.

Editing by Georgina Prodhan and Mark Potter

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