Private Equity Firms Investing in International Hospital Chains

TPG, a private equity firm with many U.S. healthcare investments, and a pharmaceutical group have agreed to acquire Chindex International for about $461 million.

Chindex is an American healthcare company, but it operates and manages several hospitals and ambulatory clinics throughout China. TPG manages $59 billion of assets and is no stranger to hospital chains: It is the primary funder of Franklin, Tenn.-based IASIS Healthcare.

Private equity firms have become mainstays among U.S.-based hospital operators, including Nashville, Tenn.-based Hospital Corporation of America, Franklin, Tenn.-based Capella Healthcare and others. But the firms have also made a bigger push into international hospitals during the past several years.

For example, Sequoia Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts have both invested in Apollo Hospitals, a major hospital chain based in India. Turkey's largest hospital company, Medical Park, has also exchanged hands with several private equity firms.

According to KPMG, global healthcare private equity deals have doubled from 2010 to 2011, and interest has been growing most in India, China, Brazil and Eastern European countries.

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