More private equity firms mull Capio bids

Blackstone, Cinven and CVC are reportedly looking at Swedish healthcare business Capio, despite Apax Partners and Nordic Capital having a €1.67bn unsolicited bid rejected earlier this month.

Capio, the Swedish healthcare business which rejected an unsolicited private equity take-private offer at the beginning of September, is still being circled by private equity firms, according to reports.

The Blackstone Group, Cinven and CVC Capital Partners are understood to have made separate approaches for Capio, including a formal letter outlining a counter offer, according to the Telegraph, a UK daily.

On 1 September, Capio announced that it had rejected an unsolicited €1.67 billion ($2.1 billion) offer for the business from Apax Partners and Nordic Capital. The group said at the time that the offer was surprising as it had already informally turned down the private equity suitors.

Cinven’s interest in the healthcare sector includes psychiatric care business Partnerships in Care, which it bought from General Healthcare Group in March 2005 for £552 million. General Healthcare Group had itself been a Cinven portfolio company until it was sold in a secondary buyout to BC Partners for £1.28 billion in September 2000.

Blackstone owns Southern Cross Healthcare Group, a UK care homes provider it acquired in a £160 million secondary buyout from West Private Equity, now Lyceum Capital, in September 2004. Blackstone subsequently merged the business with Nursing Home Properties, a £563.5 million take-private in November 2004. The private equity firm is looking at a potential flotation of the business, despite scrapping plans to do so earlier this year.