Who might sell this autumn?

Autumn is always an exciting time in the healthcare space. Here are HBI’s predictions for which deals might happen…

Regina Maria, the Romanian healthcare group owned by MidEuropa, looks most likely, as it’s a much simpler asset than other larger ones expected to come to market in late 2019, like global dialysis provider Diaverum. The hint is that it will be a second-round of private equity rather than an operator, although Bupa has been linked.

And once Mid Europa is done with Regina Maria, it will may well look at another of its assets, one that its held for 8 years, Polish lab group Diagnostyka. South African Life Healthcare said in May it was also considering a sale of its Polish outpatient and imaging group Scanmed.

The Diaverum sale could quite easily kick off in 2019, but is not likely to close until 2020, and we are told no firm decision on timing has been made. Investors we speak to say some in the market are concerned about overexposure to the Saudi Arabian market. However, it’s a huge asset and is likely to attract the big boys of private equity.

Brexit continues to plague the sale of many UK assets. But on October 31st, with parliament prorogued, the market might settle enough to allow investors entry. We expect Barchester to be the first to sell, but then we expected it to sell before last Christmas, before Macquarie backed out over currency fluctuation concerns and might take another look once the pound has settled. The Priory is likely to follow just behind, and then maybe HC-One. Four Seasons still has a lot of restructuring to do while the Care UK sale process was pulled by Bridgepoint.

In Italy, might we see a sale process start for rehabilitation hospital group ICS Maugeri? Last year it emerged that PE firm Trilantic was looking to offload its 34% stake in the €300m-sales group and this summer it underwent an overhaul of its board and management.

The market has been remarkably quiet about two other large assets that are approaching the end of the expected PE cycle. Cinven appears to be nowhere close to an exit on Synlab and neither does Vitruvian from Healthcare at Home. We are also awaiting an IPO at Rede d’Or, Brazil’s largest hospital group.

And in terms of smaller assets, we could see some movement from Polish oncology provider Nu-Med, UK-based Renal Services, the TVM Capital portfolio and perhaps German and Swiss ophthalmology group Artemis.

We would welcome your thoughts on this story. Email your views to Rachel Lewis or call 0207 183 3779.