Grupo Fernandes Vieira, owner of two hospitals in Brazil, hired Credit Suisse Group AG to advise on a possible sale of the company’s health-care business for about 500 million reais ($144 million), according to three people with direct knowledge of the matter.
Hospital owner Rede D’Or Sao Luiz SA is in talks to acquire the unit, said the people, asking not to be named because the discussions are private. Closely held Grupo Fernandes Vieira is also considering the sale of a stake of 50 percent to 70 percent of the business to private-equity funds, the people said.
Grupo Fernandes Vieira has been contacted by “big international investment funds that want to invest in the health sector in Brazil,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. The firm is “considering market opportunities,” it said, without being more specific.
An official at Credit Suisse declined to comment on the talks, and Rede D’Or said the company doesn’t comment on market speculation. Exame reported Thursday that Credit Suisse was seeking investors for Grupo Fernandes Vieira hospitals, without saying where it obtained the information.
Founded in 1965 by the brothers Jose Aecio and Francisco Eustacio Fernandes Vieira, both doctors, the company owns Santa Joana Hospital and Sao Jose Memorial in Recife, Brazil.
Private-equity firms and sovereign-wealth funds are seeking investments after a new law opened the way for foreign ownership of health-care facilities in Latin America’s largest economy. The nation is home to tens of millions of would-be patients who joined its middle-class when rising commodity prices fueled an economic boom.
Carlyle Group LP, the Washington-based asset manager, announced in April that it invested in Brazilian hospital group Rede D’Or Sao Luiz Rede D’Or. Carlyle paid about 1.75 billion reais for an 8.3 percent stake, said people familiar with the deal.
GIC Pte, Singapore’s sovereign-wealth fund, also bought a stake in Rede D’Or, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said in May. Rede D’Or is among the country’s biggest hospital operators, with 4,500 beds across 27 locations.
Gavea Investimentos Ltda., the Brazilian investment firm controlled by JPMorgan Chase & Co., is trying to sell its 30 percent stake in medical-lab operator Instituto Hermes Pardini Ltda., three people with direct knowledge of the matter said earlier this week.