At the time of sale, I-MED had just over 200 clinics and generated annual earnings around the $100 million mark. Today, earnings are well north of $200 million across 250 clinics – testament to Permira’s management of the business which has since acquired Alfred Medical Imaging and expanded across the Tasman, acquiring Hamilton Radiology and Midland MRI in New Zealand’s North Island. The group has also taken on a $1.01 billion loan, refinancing Permira’s original loan and leaving room for further M&A.
With valuation expectations set at around $4 billion, interested parties will likely be sourced from a small but active group of core-plus funds.
Competition for healthcare assets has been fierce in recent years as private capital tussles for opportunities in defensive assets. In 2021, EQT shelled out $2.4 billion for cancer services provider Icon Group in a six-month auction run by Goldman Sachs and Jefferies. The Swedish private equity bigwig agreed to acquire about a 70 per cent stake in Icon, while Goldman Sachs Asset Management retained 14 per cent.
Then, in 2022, IFM Investors teamed up with industry superannuation fund UniSuper to take a majority stake in Crescent Capital-backed radiology business PRP Diagnostic Imaging for about $800 million. Crescent paid $440 million to buy 75 per cent of PRP in mid-2020.
Finally, with London-listed buyout giant Intermediate Capital Group securing hospitals group Cura Day Hospitals in a $500 million-plus action-packed auction, the spotlight is firmly back on core-plus healthcare assets.