Vanguard Health Rises in First Day of Trading in New York

Vanguard Health Systems Inc., the hospital operator controlled by Blackstone Group LP, gained 5 cents on its first day of stock trading after the company raised $450 million in an initial public offering.

Vanguard Health climbed to $18.05 at 4:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The Nashville, Tennessee-based company sold 25 million shares at $18 each yesterday, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, after offering them for $21 to $23. Vanguard Health is trading under the symbol VHS.

The hospital operator cut its offering to attract buyers as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has fallen 3.7 percent this month amid concern the U.S. economic recovery is stalling. Pandora Media Inc., the streaming radio company, dropped 17 percent since its IPO June 14 and LinkedIn Corp., the networking website, is down 30 percent from its post-IPO high last month.

Vanguard Health owns and operates 26 hospitals in five states, as well as two surgery centers in California and three health insurance plans, according to the filing. It had $3.39 billion in revenue for the nine months ended March 31. Funds led by New York-based Blackstone agreed to buy the company in 2004 for $1.75 billion, according to a company statement at the time.

Blackstone owned about two-thirds of the company before the offering. After the IPO, current investors will still hold a majority of the voting rights, Vanguard said in the filing.

Proceeds will be used to pay down debt, according to the IPO prospectus. Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co. managed the deal.

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