Vestar to sell healthcare co, brake maker

Vestar Capital Partners has agreed to sell Sheridan Healthcare to Boston private equity firm JW Childs while simultaneously agreeing to sell Swedish Sab Wabco in a €310 million deal.

In a double-exit day for Vestar Capital Partners, the New York private equity firm has agreed to sell Sheridan Healthcare in a management buyout led by Boston-based JW Childs Associates; and has also agreed to sell Sab Wabco, a Swedish brake systems maker for railways, in a deal valued at €310 million ($381 million).

Sheridan Healthcare, based in Sunrise, Florida, is the largest provider of anesthesia and one of the largest providers of neonatology/maternal fetal medicine physician outsourcing services to US hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. The company operates through 53 facilities in 12 states.

Vestar took Sheridan private back in May 1999 in a transaction valued at approximately $155 million. According to a statement, the company has nearly doubled its revenue and profits through internal growth and acquisitions, and has substantially reduced its original debt. Vestar would not disclose the value of the transaction.

Vestar managing directors Jim Elrod and David Hooper were involved in the deal. Banc of American Securities was the M&A advisor to Sheridan Healthcare and Vestar.

In Europe, Vestar announced an agreement to sell Sab Wabco to European railway equipment maker Faiveley Group and Paris-based private equity shop Sagard, a middle market firm set up by the Power Corporation.

The acquisition of Sab Wabco and the refinancing of its existing bank debt will be financed by bank debt of up to €230 million underwritten by a pool of financial institutions led by Societe Generale and BNP Paribas, and by a capital increase amounting to €100.4 million reserved for Sagard and the management teams of Faiveley Transport and Sab Wabco.

The newly formed entity, controlled by Faiveley S.A., will become one of the largest companies specializing in on-board railway systems, including HVAC, electromechanics and electronics to brake systems, couplers and wheels.

Robert Rosner, president of Vestar Capital Partners Europe, took part in the deal. Rothschild advised both Faiveley and Sagard on this transaction and Credit Suisse First Boston advised Sab Wabco.

Since its founding in 1988, Vestar has completed 45 investments with a total valuation in the region of $15 billion. With approximately $4 billion of funds under management, the firm also has offices in Denver, Colorado and Milan. Last month, Vestar was reported to be forming an agreement with clothing maker Levi Strauss & Co to purchase the company’s Docker's clothing line for approximately $800 million. In June, Vestar announced the hire of Mario Cesari in its Paris office. He joins the firm as executive director from US private equity firm Berkshire Partners. Last year, Prakash Melwani, a founding partner of buyout firm Vestar Capital Partners, joined The Blackstone Group’s private equity group as a senior partner.