Ramsay Health Care has announced an agreement with the Spire Healthcare Group under which it will acquire the UK-based company for $1.8 billion.
Spire is a leading hospital group in the UK focused on private patients with a partnership with the country's National Health Service. It operates 39 hospitals and eight clinics across England, Wales and Scotland, and has 14,200 employees.
Ramsay said the acquisition will be transformational for it UK business and has a compelling strategic and financial rationale.
Ramsay said the Spire board considers the terms of its offer to be fair and reasonable and has unanimously recommended that its shareholders vote in favour of the acquisition.
The company said it will fund the acquisition from existing debt facilities.
“This transaction will enable Ramsay to build on its established reputation for delivering high-quality patient care and outcomes in the UK," said CEO and managing director Craig McNally.
"The proposed combination builds a broader platform to take advantage of the opportunity for sustained growth in the £5.8 billion U.K. private hospital sector, with the aim of delivering best in class healthcare to all patients.
"Ramsay and Spire together will lead the way on patient outcomes through bolstered partnerships with private health insurers, the NHS, our doctors and clinicians and associated clinical networks."
Mr McNally continued, “We are committed to meeting the needs of the NHS and contributing meaningfully to the publicly funded system which has shown great resilience during the COVID-19 crisis. Ramsay will work closely with the Department of Health and Social Care to ensure all shared objectives are closely aligned and we stand ready to support the NHS in tackling the significant increase in waiting lists and the return of elective procedures in the UK.
“Spire’s track record serving self-pay and insured patients will increase choice at Ramsay. It will enhance our capacity to work closely with our doctors and clinicians to ensure further investment in clinical excellence in all our specialities through the provision of multi-disciplinary care to better service private patients. The transaction will also create the platform to address the growing patient demand for more convenient healthcare through increased investment in digital innovation and transformation.
“We believe that the combined group will provide an exciting opportunity for Spire employees, doctors and clinicians and look forward to welcoming them to Ramsay in due course."