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General de Sante plans tidy exit for Cinven

The French private healthcare company, 40 per cent owned by Cinven, has announced that it plans to list on the Premier Marche.

Whilst opinions still diverge as to whether the time has returned for the IPO, General de Sante has said that it intends to raise several hundred million Euros via a listing scheduled to take place before the end of September.

With talk of rapidly filling pipelines alongside IPOs still being pulled – Swedish biotech firm Medicarb was forced to pull its E31m initial public offering this Monday – the announcement was regarded as a bold move by some.

It is no doubt welcome news for Cinven who bought the firm as part of a £1.65bn deal with Vivendi in July 1997. The private equity firm subsequently sold the other business it had acquired, UK private health company General Healthcare Group, to fellow private equity house BC Partners in September 2000 for nearly £1.28bn.

Cinven remains a 40 per cent shareholder in the company, prompting analysts to suggest that their stake could be worth as much as E750m.

General de Sante posted 2000 revenues of E885m and has 157 healthcare facilities.