TPG Capital, Carlyle Said to Weigh Sale Options for Healthscope

TPG Capital and Carlyle Group LP are exploring options for a sale of Healthscope Ltd., Australia’s second-largest private hospital operator, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

The buyout firms have asked investment banks to submit proposals next week on possibilities for the business which may include an initial public offering or trade sale, the people said. A deal could value the business at more than A$4 billion ($3.5 billion), one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the details are private.

The two U.S. private equity firms bought Healthscope for A$2.7 billion in 2010, beating KKR & Co. to what was the country’s biggest buyout in eight years. Healthscope operates 44 hospitals including the Prince of Wales Private Hospital in Sydney and Melbourne Private Hospital, according to its website. It also runs pathology centers in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore.

Other options could include selling a stake in Healthscope to new investors or splitting the operating company from the hospital properties, the people said. Spokeswomen for Healthscope, Carlyle and TPG declined to comment.

Fort Worth, Texas-based TPG agreed in March to pay about A$880 million for Inghams Enterprises Pty, Australia’s largest poultry producer, people familiar with the matter said at the time. Washington-based Carlyle and Seven Group Holdings Ltd. scrapped the sale of Australian equipment rental company Coates Hire Ltd. in June.

Ramsay Health Care Ltd. is Australia’s largest private hospital operator. The Australian Financial Review reported details of the process earlier today.

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