BMI Healthcare, the biggest privately owned healthcare chain in the UK, is to be bought by Circle Health.
According to reports, the acquisition by the hedge fund-backed company will create a healthcare group with 57 hospitals and revenue of around £1bn.
It is thought the deal will mark Netcare’s final exit from the UK private healthcare market after it revealed last year it was going to begin disposing of its interests in General Healthcare Group, which operates BMI Healthcare.
Knight Frank was instructed to handle the sale of six BMI Healthcare hospitals earlier this year.
Julian Evans, head of healthcare at Knight Frank, said the deal is one of the most significant events in the acute market for almost a decade.
“The sector faces some big challenges but Circle has the potential to reinvigorate the sector,” he added.
Circle, which was founded in 2004, has two private hospitals in Bath and Reading which cover a range of conditions from eye surgery to hip and knee operations. Its new Birmingham hospital, which is due to open next year, will include a 120-bed unit specialising in neurological conditions.
Circle also has two clinics in China.