Cinven’s Générale de Santé floats on Premier Marché

The healthcare services provider's IPO was strongly subscribed. But shares ended the day trading below the issue price.

Générale de Santé, the France-focussed provider of private hospital healthcare services owned by Cinven, the buyout firm, listed on Wednesday on the Premier Marché of Euronext Paris.

The offering priced at E20.25 per share, giving the business a market capitalisation of E792m. Shares were offered worth nearly E400m and representing 50.1 per cent of the share capital before green shoe.

The issue was offered to both institutional and retail investors. The private placement was several times oversubscribed, with institutional investors accounting for more than 80 per cent of demand.

Générale de Santé raised E174m from the deal, not including an amount raised from a separate offering to employees. Proceeds will be used to reduce the group’s debt and finance future growth.

Despite strong investor interest in the stock, it did not have an easy start to trading. According to the Wall Street Journal, the share price dropped to a first day low of E18.60 before finishing up at E20 when the market closed.

Cinven’s involvement in Générale de Santé dates back to July 1997, when the firm acquired the UK and French hospital and healthcare interests of Companie Générale des Eaux, now renamed Vivendi. Cinven split the assets into two independently run businesses. The UK company, General Healthcare, merged with Amicus in December 1997 and was subsequently sold to BC Partners for £1.275bn.

Générale de Santé was also grown aggressively. Between 1998 and 2000 the company bought 13 facilities, adding three acquisitions in the first quarter of 2001. E210m were spent on modernising the business.

Commenting on the floatation, Simon Rowlands, a director of Cinven said in a statement: “The IPO was well received in the market and we have crystallised a portion of our investment after four years of helping the management build the business. With a retained holding in the company, we look forward to the continued success of the business.”