Bridgepoint sells French nursing homes

BC Partners, a London-based private equity firm, and AXA Private Equity, the private equity arm of the French insurance group, have teamed up to acquire Médica, a French nursing home business.

Bridgepoint, a European mid-market buyout firm, sold its 63 percent stake in Médica in a transaction valuing the company at €750 million ($956 million). AlpInvest, Europe’s largest limited partner, also sold a stake of around 18 percent in the transaction, which is expected to complete by the end of the month. Médica’s management has also take a small stake in the company alongside BC Partners and AXA Private Equity.
 
Bridgepoint is understood to have made four times its original investment, having abandoned plans to list Médica on the French stock markets two weeks ago.
 
Lazard and Société Générale ran the auction, which attracted interest from largely financial buyers. Bridgepoint was advised by Linklaters, KPMG and LEK Consulting. BC Partners was advised by ABN AMRO and Rothschild, White & Case, PwC, Landwell and Ariane Santé Social.
 
Bridgepoint and AlpInvest acquired Médica in October 2003 from France’s Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations for €330 million. Since then, Bridgepoint has returned approximately €100 million to shareholders through a refinancing last year.
 
Médica provides nursing home facilities to individuals requiring dependence-related or post-operative care in France and Italy, where it is the market leader according to Bridgepoint. In 2005, Médica generated revenues of €272 million, up 17 percent on the previous year, and 21,000 people were accommodated in the group’s 103 centres (92 in France and 11 in Italy). The company employs more than 4,000 people.
 
BC Partners recently exited one of its investments in the healthcare services sector with the £2.2 billion sale of UK private hospital operator General Healthcare Group to a consortium led by Apax Partners. The sale was reported to have also attracted the interest of Cinven, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and The Blackstone Group.
 
Current investments in the sector for BC Partners are Spain’s Centre Medico Teknon, bought for €90 million in 2004, and Hirlanden Holdings of Switzerland, a €610 million purchase from 2002.