July 30, 2019 / 11:35 PM / 25 days ago

China's United Family Healthcare clinches $1.4 billion deal to list in New York

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chinese hospital operator United Family Healthcare will list on the New York Stock Exchange through its $1.4 billion sale to New Frontier Corp (NFC.N), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition vehicle, the companies said on Tuesday.

In a country that relies mainly on a state-run hospital system, United Family Healthcare is one of the largest private operators in China, with nine hospitals and more than 700 licensed beds catering mostly to wealthy Chinese and foreigners.

China’s private hospital sector revenue grew at a compound annual growth rate of 25% between 2013 and 2017, according to the National Health Commission of China, as an aging population buoyed demand for private healthcare.

New Frontier Corp is a blank-check company that raised $478 million in an initial public offering last year to acquire a company with a China-focused business. It is led by Anthony Leung, a former investment banker who serves as financial secretary of Hong Kong from 2001 to 2003.

New Frontier has agreed to acquire United Family Healthcare from private equity firm TPG and Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd (600196.SS). It has obtained $711 million in equity commitments from a group of investors including, Vivo Capital and Nan Fung Group.

New Frontier CEO Carl Wu told Reuters in an interview his company was offered an “exclusive look” at acquiring United Family Healthcare, which decided not to launch an auction process to sell itself.

New Frontier is planning to grow United Family Healthcare in fields such as oncology and fertility treatment, Wu said.

Fertility treatment is a growing business for United Family Healthcare, and its branch in the harbor city Tianjin carries an IVF license. The hospital group also works closely with partner hospitals in the United States, Wu added.

Credit Suisse and UBS AG served as capital market advisers, and Winston & Strawn LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and Global Law Office were legal advisers to New Frontier Corp.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and Fangda Partners acted as legal advisers to TPG, Paul Hastings was legal adviser to Fosun Pharma, and Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP is acting as legal adviser to Roberta Lipson, the founder and CEO of United Family Healthcare.

Reporting by Echo Wang in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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