Bridgepoint completes E330m healthcare deal

Bridgepoint Capital has acquired Medica, one of the top three nursing home operators in France, for E330m.

Bridgepoint Capital, the London-based pan-European mid-market investor, has agreed to acquire Medica, a French healthcare provider, for E330m. The business, which was sold by the French state’s Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, becomes the latest in a succession of healthcare businesses to end up in private equity hands.

Medica has 87 homes and more than 7,000 beds and provides nursing home facilities to individuals requiring dependence-related or post-operative care. It has almost 3,200 employees in France and is expected to turn over E210m in 2003.

Bridgepoint partner Benoit Bassi, who leads the firm’s operations in France, says the acquisition of Medica will allow it to play a consolidating role in the growing French nursing home sector.

“Medica operates against a background of an ageing population and rising life expectancy rates in a fragmented and regulated nursing home sector,” said Bassi. He said that as well as allowing Medica to make new acquisitions, Bridgepoint would work on ‘modernising its existing properties to reflect market and regulatory changes’.

Bridgepoint was advised on the deal by HSBC CCF (corporate finance), Royal Bank of Scotland and ICG (debt), LEK (market due diligence), Constantin (financial due diligence) and SJ Berwin (legal). Caisse des Depots was advised by BNP Paribas (corporate finance) and Latham & Watkins (legal), and management by Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw (legal). The deal is due to complete in December 2003.

Bridgepoint is one of a growing number of private equity firms to have bought healthcare businesses recently, having already acquired Robinia Care Group, a UK provider of specialist care for people with learning difficulties, in September 2003 for £50m.

Bridgepoint has also announced the appointments of former Railtrack chief executive Gerald Corbett and ex Asda chairman Archie Norman as the chairman and non-executive director respectively of portfolio company Holmes Place, which it acquired for £210m in July 2003.