The sale of Alpha Hospitals, the leading purveyor of psychiatric and behavioural care services in England, has just been completed for £95m by its private equity owner, C&C Alpha Group (CCAG). The new holding is one of the largest hospital companies in the US, Universal Health Service (NYSE:UHS) which acquired the hospital chain through its subsidiary, Cygnet Healthcare.
Launched by the former CEO of the Florence Nightingale Hospitals Group, Patricia Hodgkinson in 2002, with investment support from CCAG and its founder Bhanu Choudhrie, Alpha Hospitals has pioneered mental care for adults and children with specialist facilities in working partnership with NHS England and local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups.
From a disused hospital in Woking, Surrey, Alpha Hospitals expanded into Bury and Sheffield and its turnover for the year ended March 31, 2014 was £42.1m. With rising investor interest, it attracted potential bidders and stakeholders globally.
“The strong interest we had from potential bidders, and the price we ultimately received, is testament to the strength of the business,” said Bhanu Choudhrie. “CCAG incubated Alpha Hospitals and invested in it for 13 years, allowing it to scale up and grow successfully. I am delighted it will continue to grow under a new owner.”
“Our approach is to back management teams which create long-term value. I was on the board at its inception and have always taken a close personal interest in the business. We will now be looking for new investment opportunities in healthcare and other speciality services”.
The deal adds four new hospitals and 305 beds to the Cygnet family, expanding its UK presence to 21 hospitals and 1,100 beds.
London-based CCAG has a phenomenal track record of successfully incubating businesses around the world in healthcare, hospitality, real estate, aviation, utilities and agriculture. Last month, it brokered a breakthrough deal for a new £150m cancer hospital in London to be run by the Abu Dhabi-based VPS Healthcare Group. Ravenscourt Park Hospital will be the first private facility in the UK to offer proton beam therapy and is the first hospital to be re-developed in London for more than 30 years.