By Arno Schuetze
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Dutch private equity group Waterland is launching the sale of Median Kliniken, Germany’s largest private-sector chain of post-acute care clinics, in a deal potentially worth more than 1 billion euros ($1.17 billion), people close to the matter said.
The sell side advisor Morgan Stanley is expected to send out information packages to prospective bidders in the autumn, they said, adding that first meetings with potential suitors are already taking place.
Berlin-based Median operates some 120 healthcare facilities and is expected to post adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of about 100-120 million euros this year.
It could be valued at 10-12 times that, people close to the matter said, roughly in line with peers such as Korian, Orpea, Spire Healthcare and Mediclinic.
In the fragmented European clinics market few players besides Fresenius have the financial firepower for a such deal, while a slew of private equity groups are expected to look at the asset, one of the people said.
Fresenius said last month that it is transferring its inpatient rehabilitation business from its private hospital operations to its Fresenius Vamed unit to better enable continued growth at the two businesses.
Waterland and Fresenius declined to comment.
Waterland acquired Median, which helps patients to recover from orthopaedic surgery, heart attacks, strokes and accidents, from private equity firm Advent in 2014 for about 1 billion euros including debt.
In the same year, it sold Median Kliniken’s real estate assets for 705 million euros to U.S.-based Medical Properties Trust, which has long-term rental contracts with the clinics.
Waterland also merged Median Kliniken with its portfolio company RHM and strengthened the group by several acquisitions, including that of Duesseldorf-based AHG Allgemeine Hospitalgesellschaft in 2016.
The integration of AHG’s 45 clinics as well as some tax issues were among factors that had previously delayed the auction considerably, two people said.
(Additional reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Keith Weir)