TowerBrook makes 12 times money on healthcare business

The final sale of shares in healthcare services company WellCare Health Plans by George Soros’s former private equity unit, has delivered investors a return of 12 times their original money.

TowerBrook Capital Partners, the former private equity arm of Soros Fund Management, has sold the remainder of its shares in WellCare Health Plans, a US care group, making 12 times its money, or $850m (€665m).
TowerBrook held an initial public offering of one million shares in 2004, which returned 9.7-times its original investment.

Last week’s sale of the remaining 5.2 million shares or about 13% of WellCare’s issued capital, after a number of block trades, was more profitable, a source said.

TowerBrook’s first fund, formerly known as Soros Private Equity Partners I, made a $70m investment in the $233m buyout in 2002.

WellCare bought Harmony Health Systems for $50m in 2004 before listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

It is the second profitable exit for TowerBrook this year, following the sale of its 40% stake in Swedish business TradeDoubler, an internet marketing services business.

The deal took the final return on its initial $8.5m investment, made after the dotcom bubble burst in 2000, to $160m.