TPG-Backed Healthscope Said to Pick Macquarie, UBS to Lead Sale

Healthscope Ltd., Australia’s second-largest private hospital operator, has appointed Macquarie Group Ltd. and UBS AG to lead a sale of the company, said four people with knowledge of the matter.

The two banks will act as global coordinators, after TPG Capital and Carlyle Group LP decided last month to explore a sale of the hospital operator, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the process is private. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Credit Suisse Group AG and Bank of America Corp. will be joint lead managers, the people said. Morgan Stanley and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. may also be involved as co-lead managers, one of the people said.

The U.S. buyout firms last month asked investment banks to submit proposals for divesting Healthscope through an initial public offering or a sale, people familiar with the matter said Jan. 29. A deal, which could value the business at more than A$4 billion ($3.6 billion), will involve splitting the operating company from the hospital properties and selling them separately, the people said.

A final decision hasn’t been made on what form the sales may take, according to the people. The Australian Financial Review reported yesterday the banks were set to be appointed. Healthscope spokeswoman Megan Edwards declined to comment, as did an outside spokeswoman for TPG and Carlyle.

An IPO would add to a resurgence in Australia’s equity capital market, where the value of first-time share sales jumped to a three-year high in the fourth quarter. The government in November appointed Lazard Ltd. to study the possibility of an IPO of Medibank, the country’s biggest provider of health insurance.

Beating KKR

Carlyle and TPG 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.

Ramsay Health Care Ltd. is Australia’s largest private hospital operator.

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.