Mercapital in $260m hospital buyout

The Spanish private equity firm has acquired a 65 percent stake in the $260m MBO of private hospital network USP Hospitales.

Madrid-based Mercapital Servicios Financieros has agreed to acquire the Spanish private hospital network USP Hospitales in a transaction valued at $260 million (€216 million).

Under the deal, Mercapital will acquire 65 percent of the share capital of the company. USP Hospitales' management team will take 20 percent, and US-based parent company USP International is to retain a 10 percent stake going forward.

According to a statement, USP Hospitales turned over €61 million with an EBITDA of €12.7 million for the first six months of the year.

Commenting on the transaction, William Wilcox, chief executive officer of USP International, said in the statement: “We have had a successful experience in Spain from the inception of USP International. The new Spanish entity will provide an attractive partnership for our Spanish management team and financial support for continued growth in Spain.”

Mercapital is currently investing from its €600 million Mercapital Spanish Private Equity Fund II (SPEF II), which closed in January 2001. At the time it was the largest Spanish fund ever raised and received commitments from investors including Goldman Sachs, Pantheon, HarbourVest Partners, Partners Group and GE Equity.

The firm was launched in 1985 and now claims to have more than €1 billion under management for financing mid-market buyout opportunities in the Spanish mid-market.

Last month the firm appointed Claudio Aguirre Pemán as non-executive vice president and member of the firm’s board. Formerly a senior investment banker, Aguirre worked for Chase Manhattan and Goldman Sachs in Spain and the UK before joining Merrill Lynch in 1994 to develop the firm’s Spanish and Portuguese businesses.