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Private hospital giant BMI nears €2bn ‎deal

By Mark Kleinman, City editor
Britain's biggest chain of private hospitals is closing in on a crucial financial restructuring that will involve slashing tens of millions of pounds from its annual rent bill.
Sky News has learnt that ‎BMI Healthcare, which operates 59 hospitals and clinics across the UK, is within days of announcing that it has reached agreement with its landlords and other creditors about a deal to relieve the financial pressure on it.
Sources said on Tuesday night that under the outline terms being finalised, BMI ‎would see its yearly rent bill slashed from €150m to approximately €90m.Funds including Centerbridge and Och-Ziff Capital Management will inject roughly €50m of new equity into the business, while the maturity of about €2bn of debt sitting on the balance sheet of BMI and General Healthcare Group, its property arm, is to be extended by six years.By cutting BMI's rent bill so substantially, the deal is ex‎pected to free up large sums of capital for the company to invest across its hospital estate.It said in June that it expected to be able to invest an additional €250m during the next four years in a portfolio of sites which handles 1.5m outpatient visits annually.The company and its advisers have been locked in talks since then in an effort to finalise a deal.BMI employs about 10,000 people‎ and handles more than 275,000 inpatient visits each year.The negotiations have become increasingly active ahead of a deadline at the end of September to pay a €38m quarterly rent bill, part of which will be deferred with the remainder written off under the revised arrangements.One source described the impending agreement as‎ "a proper fix" that secured the company's medium-term future.
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