Sunday 17 December 2017

CapVest puts Mater Private shareholding up for review

Rothschild will advise on options

Tom Lyons

CapVest, the majority shareholder in the Mater Private, has begun a strategic review of its investment in the successful Dublin headquartered private hospital group.

Dominic Hollamby, global head of healthcare at investment bank Rothschild, has sounded out potential overseas new investors in the Mater. Hollamby who was born in Ireland, is one of the most experienced transactions advisors to private equity in Britain. No decision has been made about the future of the Mater. CapVest declined to comment.

CapVest, which is led by Cavan man Seamus FitzPatrick, typically exits or reinvests in its interests between five and seven years in. CapVest first invested in the Mater six years ago in a deal which valued the Mater at €300m. The private equity group has invested millions in the hospital group placing a value on the Mater today of between €400m and €500m.

The Mater has the management expertise under chief executive Fergus Clancy to become a major consolidator in Ireland's somewhat fragmented private hospital sector. It has already begun to do so. In January, the Mater opened a new facility at Citygate, beside Mahon Point Shopping Mall in Cork. The Mater bought Shanakiel Private Hospital in North Cork at the end of 2012 which it then closed down in order to move its consultants and staff to its new 75-bed facility in Mahon.

The Mater will need additional financial firepower to bid for a number of healthcare assets on or about to come onto the market. CapVest is capable of raising additional funds on the international markets if it chooses to become a consolidator.

Mount Carmel, the Rathfarnham-based maternity hospital owned by US-based developer Gerry Conlan, is seeking buyers. The decision to place IBRC, formerly Anglo Irish Bank, into liquidation will also open up other consolidation opportunities. The Whitfield Hospital in Waterford, a 64-bed private hospital, has debts to IBRC of €85m. As part of IBRC's liquidation, this hospital, which is already in receivership, will be put on the market over the summer.

IBRC also has advanced loans of over €20m to a primary healthcare facility in Kildare founded by the McEvaddy brothers. The McEvaddys plan to refinance these loans but it is not impossible rival bids could emerge for the facility called Vista Primary Care in Naas, Co Kildare. The brothers earlier this year signed a strategic agreement with the Hermitage Clinic and Blackrock Clinic in a move which will add to Vista's revenues.

FitzPatrick co-founded CapVest Associates in 1999 and it has raised funds of more than €2bn. He was appointed deputy chairman of Conroy Gold and Natural Resources last month, the latest in a string of Irish interests. He is chairman of the Mater Private Hospital and Valeo Foods. In August 2011,Valeo acquired the business of Jacob Fruitfield Food Group.

Irish Independent

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