Sunday 19 November 2017

HCA’s €3bn flotation could boost Claret Capital backers

Nick Webb

Nick Webb

FORMER Anglo Irish Bank chairman Sean FitzPatrick, Senator Feargal Quinn and EMPG chief Barry O’Callaghan could be set for a big payout as giant US hospital firm HCA considers a massive flotation.

Domhnall Slattery’s Claret Capital invested up to €38m through Merrill Lynch in HCA when it was bought out for €25bn in one of the world’s biggest ever private equity deals back in 2006. Last week it was suggested that HCA was considering raising up to €3bn in a flotation.

Some of this would be used to pay down its €18.8bn debt mountain, while existing shareholders could also net a sizeable payout. It is thought that the IPO could be launched this summer.

HCA is understood to have grown its earnings and paid down large blocks of debt since it was bought out. The company is seen as a major beneficiary of President Barack Obama’s healthcare policy.

Quinn’s stake in the HCA deal is revealed in his latest Oireachtas declaration of interests, while both Fitz-Patrick and O Callaghan are major investors with Claret Capital. FitzPatrick is thought to have ploughed close to €16m into the firm’s various investments.

It recently emerged that Claret was to receive a near €11m dividend from HCA. Quinn’s family own a 25 per cent stake in Claret after it restructured last year.

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