Archive for the ‘Vertical: Healthcare’ Category

HCA IPO Rises 4% on Day Dow Falls 228 Points

Friday, March 11th, 2011

HCA Holdings rose about 4.0% in its first day of trading.  This was very impressive, considering the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 228 points in the same day (3/10/11).  The Dow fell in response to increasing jobless claims, a larger U.S. trade deficit, a larger Chinese trade deficit, and a lower GDP revision in Japan on 3/9/11.  Luckily, HCA was unaffected, which reflects both the strength of the company and its balance sheet.  HCA represents such a large share of the U.S. hospital industry, that institutional money managers probably could not refuse to purchase the security for their portfolios.  HCA’s public competitors include CYH – Community Health Systems and THC – Tenet Healthcare Corp.

According to Bloomberg, “HCA Holdings Inc., the largest publicly traded hospital chain in the U.S., rose 3.9 percent on its first day of trading after completing a record $3.79 billion, private equity-backed initial public offering.

Nashville, Tennessee-based HCA increased $1.15 to $31.15 at 1:16 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, even as rising U.S. jobless claims drove the Dow Jones Industrial Index down 137 points. HCA’s offering sold more than 126 million shares at $30 each, the top of the proposed price range, the company said yesterday in a statement.

The IPO’s performance on a day when the market is falling reflects both the strength of HCA’s balance sheet and the momentum in favor of private equity-backed deals being brought to market, said Josef Schuster, founder of IPOX Schuster LLC in Chicago. There’s “plenty of liquidity available” for large U.S. deals like this one, he said.

“The deal underlines the level of confidence among large- cap managers about these type of private equity deals and the for-profit hospital space,” Schuster said in a telephone interview today. “Even with no dividend, investors like the level of cash with this company.”

For-profit hospitals will benefit as last year’s U.S. health overhaul forces consolidation and cost cutting that may leave non-profit competitors at a disadvantage, said Les Funtleyder, an analyst at Miller Tabak & Co. in New York. Investors are also expecting HCA to be added to stock-trading indexes and buying ahead of that, he said.

Blue-Chip Name

“People look at HCA as a blue-chip name in a space they want to get involved in,” said Mark Bronzo, who helps manage $25 billion at Security Global Investors in Irvington, New York, in a telephone interview today. “There just aren’t a lot of names to choose from there.”

For-profit hospital chains such as HCA depend more on commercial payers and less on government beneficiaries than do nonprofits, which have already seen their revenue reduced by government cutbacks, particularly in Medicaid.

HCA competitors among for-profit hospitals include Community Health Systems Inc. (CYH) in Franklin, Tennessee, and Tenet Healthcare Corp. (THC) in Dallas.

HCA’s offering exceeded the Feb. 10 initial stock sale by Houston-based energy-pipeline company Kinder Morgan Inc., which raised $3.3 billion. Private equity-backed IPOs in the U.S. have gotten a boost this year as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rallied to the highest level since June 2008, raising investors’ interest in companies acquired through debt-fueled takeovers.

‘Warmer Climate’

“We have a market that’s more willing to take on risk,” said Alan Gayle, senior investment strategist at RidgeWorth Capital Management in Richmond, Virginia, which oversees $52.5 billion. “This is a much better, much warmer climate for this type of offering.”

The underwriters may exercise an overallotment option to buy as many as 18.9 million additional shares within 30 days, the company said. HCA sold 87.7 million shares, while existing investors sold 38.5 million.

Companies owned by private equity investors have accounted for 80 percent of the funds raised in U.S. IPOs since the beginning of the year, and the shares have gained 10 percent on average through yesterday, compared with 4.8 percent for companies not owned by leveraged buyout firms, Bloomberg data show.

KKR and Bain

KKR & Co., Bain Capital LLC, Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and other owners invested about $5 billion in equity in the $33 billion takeover of HCA. Including debt, it was the largest leveraged buyout at the time.

In acquiring HCA, KKR and Bain chose a company with steady cash flow and a business that’s protected to a large extent from swings in the economy. Cash flow from operations was $3.16 billion in the year before the 2006 buyout, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. As of Dec. 31, 2010, that number was little changed at $3.09 billion.

The company offered as many as 124 million shares at $27 to $30 apiece, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America and Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. of New York led HCA’s sale. HCA said it will use the proceeds to repay debt.”

The following links will take you to previous articles we wrote on HCA:

http://leverageacademy.com/blog/2010/04/11/hca-could-have-3-billion-ipo-4-years-after-kkr-bain-buyout/

http://leverageacademy.com/blog/2011/03/04/2310/ – KKR & Bain to IPO HCA at $30/share

Check out our intensive investment banking, private equity, and sales & trading courses! The discount code Merger34299 will be activated until April 15, 2011. Questions? Feel free to e-mail thomas.r[at]leverageacademy.com with your inquiries or call our corporate line.


HCA Could Have $3 Billion IPO, 4 Years After KKR & Bain Buyout

Sunday, April 11th, 2010


Most recent bond prospectus for HCA…great read.

HCA Prospectus

Short video clip describing HCA IPO and roadshow process.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZ9VUSmUoyo&feature=channel[/youtube]

Four years after its buyout, HCA, the largest hospital chain in the United States is preparing for an IPO that could raise as much as $3 billion for KKR and its investors.  HCA has over 160 hospitals and 105 outpatient-surgery clinics in 20 states and England.  The IPO would help the firm pay down some of its $26 billion in debt.  The company is very well positioned to benefit from health care reform.  According to Analysts, this specific IPO would be the largest in the U.S. since March 2008, when Visa Inc. raised almost $20 billion…A takeover of a public company of more than $6 billion including debt hasn’t been announced since 2007.  HCA has fared much better than other mega-buyouts from 2006/2007, and is only levered at 4.8x trailing EBITDA.

According to Bloomberg, “HCA Inc., the hospital chain bought four years ago in a $33 billion leveraged buyout led by KKR & Co. and Bain Capital LLC, is preparing an initial public offering that may raise $3 billion, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

HCA plans to interview banks to underwrite the sale in the coming weeks, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The sale, slated for this year, may fetch $2.5 billion to $3 billion, the people said. HCA’s owners, which include Bank of America Corp. and Tennessee’s Frist family, may seek $4 billion, said another person familiar with the plans.

The stock offering would be the biggest U.S. IPO in two years and help HCA pay off debt, the people said. The hospital operator may profit from the health-care legislation President Barack Obama signed into law on March 23 that provides for coverage for millions of uninsured patients, said Sheryl Skolnick, an analyst at CRT Capital Group LLC in Stamford, Connecticut.

HCA is “extremely well-positioned to benefit from health reform because their hospitals tend to be concentrated in significant markets” including Denver, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Missouri, and Salt Lake City, Skolnick said yesterday in a telephone interview. “Health reform was very important to this decision.”

Kristi Huller, a spokeswoman for KKR, and Alex Stanton, a Bain spokesman, declined to comment, as did Jerry Dubrowski, a Bank of America spokesman. Ed Fishbough, a spokesman for HCA, didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and e-mail seeking comment.

Buyout Surge

Private-equity firms spent $2 trillion, most of it borrowed, to buy companies ranging from Hilton Hotels Corp. to Clear Channel Communications Inc. in the leveraged-buyout boom that ended in 2007 and are now seeking to cut that debt before it matures.

U.S. IPO investors have been leery of companies backed by private equity this year. In the biggest offering so far, Bain’s Sensata Technologies Holding NV sold $569 million of shares last month at the low end of its estimated price range. In February, Blackstone Group LP’s Graham Packaging Co. and CCMP Capital Advisors LLC’s Generac Holdings Inc. were forced to cut the size of their offerings.

HCA may file for the IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as early as next month, said one of the people.

The IPO would be the largest in the U.S. since March 2008, when Visa Inc. raised almost $20 billion. HCA would be the biggest IPO of a private-equity backed company in the U.S. since at least 2000, according to Greenwich, Connecticut-based Renaissance Capital LLC, which has followed IPOs since 1991.

Debt Load

HCA’s owners put up about $5.3 billion to buy the company, according to a regulatory filing, funding the rest with loans from banks including Bank of America, Merrill Lynch & Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. The IPO would lower HCA’s debt load rather than allowing owners to reduce their stakes, said the people.

The hospital chain’s purchase in 2006 shattered the record for the largest leveraged buyout, held since 1989 by KKR’s acquisition of RJR Nabisco Inc. HCA’s record was eclipsed by Blackstone’s acquisition of Equity Office Properties Trust and again by the 2007 takeover of Energy Future Holdings Corp., by KKR and TPG Inc., for $43 billion including debt.

Later that year, the global credit contraction cut off the supply of loans necessary to arrange the largest LBOs. A takeover of a public company of more than $6 billion including debt hasn’t been announced since 2007.

$25.7 Billion Debt

HCA, the largest U.S. hospital operator, had about $25.7 billion of debt as of Dec. 31, about 4.8 times its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, even before HCA’s owners tapped credit lines in January to pay themselves a $1.75 billion dividend. Tenet Healthcare Corp.’s ratio was 4.4 and LifePoint Hospitals Inc.’s was 2.85 at year- end, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Health-care companies have fared better than the average private-equity investment during the economic decline. KKR said in February that its holding in the company had gained as much as 90 percent in value as of Dec. 31, while stakes in Energy Future Holdings Corp. and First Data Corp. were worth less than their initial cost.

Hospitals will probably be “net winners” in the health- care legislation, said Adam Feinstein, a New York-based analyst at Barclays Capital, in a March 26 note to investors. HCA, Dallas-based Tenet and Brentwood, Tennessee-based LifePoint may gain because the legislation will reduce hospitals’ losses from providing charity care to the poor and uncollectible bills.

Frist Family

HCA has 163 hospitals and 105 outpatient-surgery clinics in 20 states and England, according to the company’s Web site.

The company was founded in 1968, when Nashville physician Thomas Frist Sr., and his son, Thomas Frist Jr., and Jack Massey built a hospital there and formed Hospital Corp. of America. By 1987, the company had grown to operate 463 hospitals, according to the company’s Web site. Thomas Frist Sr. is also the father of Bill Frist, a physician and the former Senate majority leader.

HCA went private in a $5.1 billion leveraged buyout in 1989, then went public again in 1992, according to the company Web site. In 1994, HCA merged with Louisville, Kentucky-based Columbia Hospital Corp. In the mid-1990s the company, then called Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp., operated 350 hospitals, 145 outpatient clinics and 550 home-care agencies, according to the company.

Overbilling Settlement

In December 2000, HCA agreed to pay $840 million in criminal and civil penalties to settle U.S. claims that it overbilled states and the federal government for health-care costs. It was the largest government fraud settlement in U.S. history at the time, according to a U.S. Justice Department news release on Dec. 14, 2000.

A credit-market rally has helped HCA extend maturities on some of its debt. HCA has sold $4.46 billion of bonds since February 2009 in a bid to repay bank debt and delay maturities, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company still has about $11 billion coming due over the next three years, according to Bloomberg data. It is also negotiating with lenders to amend the terms of a bank loan.

HCA offered earlier this month to pay an increased interest rate to lengthen maturities on $1 billion of bank debt, according to two people familiar with the matter. The amendment would allow HCA to move part of the money due under its term loan B to 2017 from 2013. Even after the refinancing and debt pay downs, the company will still have to access the “capital markets to address remaining maturities,” said Moody’s Investors Service Inc. in a note last month.

“It will be difficult for the company to meaningfully reduce the amount of debt outstanding through operations due to limited free cash flow generation,” Moody’s said.”

Here is an article from 4 years ago by the NY Times describing the mega-buyout:

“HCA, the nation’s largest for-profit hospital operator, said today that it had agreed to be acquired by consortium of private investors for about $21 billion. The investors will also take on about $11.7 billion of HCA’s debt.
Skip to next paragraph

The overall deal, which the company valued at about $33 billion, would rank as the largest leveraged buyout in history, eclipsing the $31 billion takeover of RJR Nabisco in 1989 by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company.

The group of buyers is led by the family of Senator Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader. His father, Thomas Frist Sr., and his brother, Thomas F. Frist Jr., founded HCA.

The other investors are Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and the private equity arm of Merrill Lynch.

The deal appears to be driven by trends both on Wall Street and in the health care industry. For one thing, the private equity business — in which investment companies pool capital from investors in order to buy companies and then resell them or take them public — is swimming in cash. And private equity firms are eager to invest in a company like HCA, which generates a lot of revenue and, judging by its stock price, is seen as undervalued by investors.

Like many other for-profit hospital companies, HCA has seen its stock perform poorly in recent years. The whole industry has struggled with increasing amounts of bad debt, as more people fail to pay their bills because they do not have sufficient health insurance or any coverage.

Separately, various private equity firms have made a number of huge deals recently: Univision for $12.3 billion in June; $22 billion for Kinder Morgan in May; General Motors’ finance unit, GMAC, for as much as $14 billion in April.

Earlier this month, the Blackstone Group said it had lined up $15.6 billion in commitments for its latest buyout pool, forming the world’s largest private equity fund.

HCA was taken private once before, in the late 1980’s by the company’s management, which at the time thought it was undervalued. The move turned out to be a success, and HCA went public again a few years later.

Today’s deal promises to generate large fees for Wall Street bankers and lawyers, who have been toiling away on the transaction for months. Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley and Shearman & Sterling are advising HCA; Merrill, Bank of America Corporation, Citigroup Inc., J. P. Morgan Chase and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett are financing and advising the buying group.

HCA is the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chain, with 2005 revenues of roughly $25 billion. Based in Nashville, Tenn., the company operates about 180 hospitals and nearly 100 surgery centers.

After merging with Columbia Hospital Corporation in 1994, HCA became the subject of a sweeping federal Medicare fraud investigation; it agreed to pay $1.7 billion to settle the matter. Thomas Frist Jr., who had left HCA’s management before the fraud charges arose, eventually returned as chief executive in 1997. He stepped down as chairman in 2002, but he remains on the company’s board of directors.

Senator Frist’s ties to the company have drawn criticism over the years, as he has been active in the Senate on a variety of health-care initiatives that have the potential to affect the large hospital company. Last fall, the Securities and Exchange Commission began an investigation into his decision to sell stock, once estimated to be worth more than $10 million, which was held in a trust.

Mr. Frist sold the stock in June 2005, just as the price of HCA stock peaked and shortly before it fell the following month; the sale was disclosed in September. He has said that the timing of the sale was a coincidence, the result of a decision to divest his holdings in the company, and that he is cooperating with the investigation.

Under the terms of today’s deal, the consortium of investors would pay $51 a share for HCA’s outstanding common stock, roughly 15 percent more than the company’s trading price early last week, when word spread that the negotiations had faltered. Today, HCA’s stock rose $1.61, or 3.4 percent, to close at $49.48 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The investor consortium is expected to borrow about $15 billion to finance the deal. But with the high-yield bond market tightening, raising that amount could be a challenge.

There is also the possibility that another group could emerge with a rival offer. HCA has included a provision in its deal with the investor consortium that allows it to actively seek a higher offer. Firms like the Blackstone Group and the Apollo Group, as well as rival hospital operators, could try to bid.”

Check out our intensive investment banking, private equity, and sales & trading courses! The discount code Merger34299 will be activated until April 15, 2011. Questions? Feel free to e-mail thomas.r[at]leverageacademy.com with your inquiries or call our corporate line.


Bain Capital Taking Out Psychiatric Solutions for $1.35 Billion

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

It looks like the private equity market is improving as the past month has been ripe with middle market offers, as the financing market has eased.  This latest deal is being advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Jefferies.  After KKR passed on the offer, Bain & Company may place an equity bid for Psychiatric Solutions, a for-profit operator of mental-health hospitals.

Mr. McCracken and Lattman of the WSJ write: “Psychiatric Solutions Inc., a for-profit operator of mental-health hospitals and clinics, is in talks to be acquired by private-equity firm Bain Capital, according to several people familiar with the matter.

Psychiatric Solutions has a market capitalization around $1.35 billion. An exact takeover price couldn’t be determined Wednesday, but the firm was seeking around a 25% premium to its current market price, said people familiar with the matter. Any deal would include the assumption of Psychiatric Solutions’s outstanding $1.2 billion of debt.

Shares in the company, the largest for-profit psychiatric chain in the country, were trading near $30 last year. They were trading below $24 Wednesday afternoon. An agreement is still more than a week away, according to people familiar with the talks, though the deal may still fall apart in its final stages.

Private-equity firms have been in discussions with Psychiatric Solutions since last fall. CCMP Capital Advisors and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. looked at the business but eventually passed. Blackstone Group was also considering merging the company into its hospital chain Vanguard Health Systems Inc., according to people familiar with the firm’s thinking.

Boston-based Bain is now the most likely buyer. The firm is one of the lead investors in Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Inc., the nation’s largest hospital operator, which Bain and KKR acquired for $21.3 billion in 2006.

A Psychiatric Solutions spokesman didn’t return a call seeking comment.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is both advising and financing Psychiatric Solutions on the deal. Jefferies & Co. is providing additional financing.

A deal would show how the stabilization in corporate lending markets is encouraging private buyers such as Bain to put money to work. And a $3 billion acquisition would be among the largest leveraged buyouts struck since the credit markets collapsed in mid-2007.

In the past two weeks, Thomas H. Lee Partners agreed to acquire CKE Restaurants Inc., the parent company of Hardees and Carl’s Jr. restaurants for about $620 million; Abry Partners announced a deal to acquire cable operator RCN Corp. for $531 million; and CCMP purchased Infogroup Inc. for $460 million.

Psychiatric Solutions has more than 90 psychiatric hospitals and treatment centers in 32 states, with a heavy concentration in the East and Southeast. It has about 20,000 employees. The firm specializes in treating children with behavioral or mental illnesses. Besides its own sites, it also manages psychiatric units for other hospitals and government agencies. It reported 2009 sales of $1.8 billion.

Psychiatric Solutions has faced a number of allegations regarding the treatment of its patients, which has affected the company’s stock price. In July 2008 the Chicago Tribune published a report disclosing alleged unreported violence among juvenile patients at its Riveredge Hospital facility in Forest Park, Ill. A state-commissioned study by the University of Illinois-Chicago, published in August 2009, concluded that the facility failed to protect young patients from sexual assault and didn’t properly report attacks to authorities.

In February 2009, the company’s stock dropped 36% to a four-year low of about $10 per share after it reported weak earnings results attributable in part to the issues at Riveredge. “

Pfizer Buys Ratiopharm, Son Pays off Father’s Leveraged Bets with Proceeds

Friday, March 5th, 2010

One of the most interesting strategic deals on the market recently, has been the proposed buyout of Ratiopharm, a generic drug distributor based in Germany.  Pfizer would be purchasing the company from Ludwig Merckle, the son of Adolf Merckle, who unfortunately committed suicide after taking massive leveraged bets on the wrong side of the market in 2008.  Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals is another bidder in the process.

According to Shannon Pettypiece of Bloomberg, “Pfizer Inc., the world’s biggest drugmaker, is bidding as much as 3 billion euros ($4.08 billion) for German generic-drug maker Ratiopharm GmbH, said two people with knowledge of the talks.

Pfizer could make a presentation to Ratiopharm’s management as early as this week to support its bid, said the two people, who declined to be identified because they aren’t authorized to comment on the process. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Actavis Group hf are also bidding, and Ratiopharm is expected to decide by the end of the month, said one of the people. A third person knowledgeable about the process confirmed the timing.

Acquiring Ratiopharm may expand Pfizer’s generic business to about $11 billion, nearing the size of Teva, the world’s largest generic drugmaker with $13.9 billion in 2009 revenue.

A purchase of the Ulm-based company, which is being sold by the Merckle family to repay debt, would be the biggest generic- drug deal since Teva bought Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $7.4 billion in 2008. Ratiopharm’s biggest competitors in Germany are Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG’s Hexal and Stada Arzneimittel AG.

Pfizer doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation, said Joan Campion, a company spokeswoman.

The decision about Ratiopharm may come down to which buyer is willing to preserve the most of the company’s German operations, said one person.

Ludwig Merckle, the son of founder Adolf Merckle, is seeking to repay debt amassed by his father who committed suicide a year ago after making wrong-way bets on the stock market.

Top Products

The winner would gain three of the top 10 generic products by volume in the German retail drug market and five of the top 10 generic drugs sold to hospitals, according to data from IMS Health.

Pfizer has been trying to expand its generic business since 2008 when the company formed a separate business unit focused on products that have lost patent protection.

For Pfizer, the acquisition would give the company access to low-cost manufacturing, patent experts, chemists who specialize in generic medicines and technology to copy biologic- based medicines.”

Medical Device Firms Avoid Recession

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Boston Scientific

Revenue growth was unstoppable at two of New England’s largest medical device firms, Philips Healthcare and Covidien PLC.  Boston Scientific was also a heavyweight in 2008.  Philips had sales of $11.1 billion in  2008, which was up from $8.9 billion in 2007.  2009 sales may not be as good as 2008 sales due to cuts in capital spending across the United States.  Despite this trend, sales of surgical instruments, medical imagining machines, and diagnostic monitors are holding up.

The largest medical device firms in the United States are:

TOP MEDICAL DEVICE MANUFACTURERS

1. Johnson and Johnson $17.7B
2. GE Healthcare $12.1B
3. Medtronic $10.1B
4. Baxter International $9.8B
4. Cardinal Health $9.8B
6. Tyco Healthcare $9.5B
7. Siemens Medical Solutions $9.2B
8. Philips Medical Systems $7.5B
9. Boston Scientific $6.3B
10. Stryker $4.9B
11. B. Braun $3.9B
12. Guidant Corp. $3.6B
13. 3M Healthcare $3.5B
14. Zimmer Holdings $3.3B
15. Becton, Dickinson & Co. $3B
16. St. Jude Medical $2.9B
17. Kodak Health Group $2.7B
18. Hospira $2.6B
19. Fresenius $2.5B
20. Smith & Nephew $2.4B
21. Synthes $2.1B
22. Alcon $2B
23. Biomet $1.9B
24. C. R. Bard $1.8B
24. Terumo $1.8B
26. Dentsply International $1.7B
27. Invacare $1.5B
28. Gambro $1.4B
29. Dräger Medical $1.3B
30. Varian Medical $1.2B

For more information, please refer to Mass High Tech…

~IS

Largest NE Biotech Employers of 2010

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

biotech

Please refer to this list if you are interested in applying to Biotech employers or are interested in exploring the Biotech industry:

1 ) Genzyme Corp.

2 ) Biogen Idec

3 ) IDEXX Laboratories Inc.

4 ) Millipore Corp.

5 ) Charles River Laboratories

6 ) PAREXEL International

7 ) The Jackson Laboratory

8 ) Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.

9 ) Shire Human Genetic Therapies (HGT)

10 ) Millenium: The Takeda Oncology Co.

For more information, please refer to Mass High Tech…

~IS

Novartis to buy Corthera for $120mm

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis announced on Dec. 23rd that it will buy San Francisco based Corthera for $120mm, giving it the right to develop drugs that prevent heart failure.  The acquisition is still subject to regulatory approval.

Corthera is a privately owned company that has been developing relaxin, a drug that prevents cardiac arrest in patients.  The drug is currently in its third trial phase and targets patients with acute decompensated heart failure.  Novartis wants to complete the development of the drug and plans to put it on the market in the U.S and Europe by 2013.  Corthera’s shareholders could receive additional payments if the drug is successful.  Analysts estimate that these payments could be as high as $500mm.

For those interested in biotech, according to Novartis, Phase II results of the drug relaxin show that it has “vasodilator effects (widens blood vessels), improves breathlessness, reduces cardiovascular morbidity and days in the hospital.”  Relaxin itself is a “recombinant version of a naturally occurring human peptide.  In its natural form, this peptide is responsible for relaxing the female reproductive tract as well as mediating the cardiovascular and renal changes during pregnancy.  In trials, relaxin is administered to hospitalized patients via a 48-hour infusion and has been shown to cause an increase in cardiac output, systemic and renal casodilation, which suggests potential benefits for patents with acute decompensated heart failure. ”

Further, Trevor Mundel, MD, Global Head of Development at Novartis AG claims that “despite a range of current treatment options, acute decompensated heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization in people over age 65 and remains a major clinical challenge with a high and increasing incidence and substantial morbidity and mortality.  Acute decompensated heart failure, estimated to affect millions of people in the US and in Europe is a condition often associated with chronic heart disease where patients typically suffer from severe shortness of breath (dyspnea) and the heart’s ability to pump blood from the lungs is impaired.  As a result, the lungs become overfilled with fluid, which reduces oxygen uptake.  Diuretics and vasodilators are the current standard of care, but available agents from these classes have been associated with renal impairment, low blood pressure (hypotension) and adverse outcomes.”

Relaxin is expected to further strengthen the position of Novartis and its extensive range of cardiovascular medicines and development portfolio:

  • Diovan (valsartan) – an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), is the number one selling hypertension medication worldwide[1], and is indicated in chronic heart failure (NHYA class II – IV). Diovan has been shown to significantly reduce hospitalizations for heart failure.
  • Tekturna/Rasilez (aliskiren) – a first-in-class direct renin inhibitor approved for treatment of hypertension that is also currently in Phase III studies for use in chronic heart failure.
  • LCZ696 - a single molecule dual-acting angiotensin receptor blocker / neprilysin inhibitor (ARNI) that entered Phase III development in late 2009 for systolic heart failure.
  • LCI699 – a Phase II and first-in-class aldosterone synthase inhibitor (ASI) being explored as a potential treatment for heart failure.

Relaxin also further complements the Novartis strategy to expand in acute cardiology care that includes elinogrel, an anti-platelet agent in Phase II development with potential to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Novartis has hospital-based specialty sales forces in place to maximize the commercial potential of this development portfolio.

~IS

For more information, please visit the Novartis website….

TPG & Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) to Purchase IMS Health

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

TPG Logo


On November 5, 2009, TPG and CPP revealed acquisition plans for IMS Health, a medical data company.  TPG & CPP offered $22 a share, or a 31% premium over the stock’s closing price of 16.81 on Nov. 4th.  The enterprise value of the deal was about $5.2 billion, and IMS had fully committed financing from two Goldman Sachs affiliated senior debt and mezzanine funds.

IMS Health is the world’ largest provider of pharmaceutical and healthcare intelligence.  It operates in more than 100 countries and had $2.8 billion in revenue in 2008.  TPG Capital is a global buyout group of TPG, a leading financial sponsor.  TPG Capital has extensive experience in leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, spinouts, JVs and restructurings.  Its healthcare investments include Axcan Pharma, Biomet Fenwal, IASIS Healthcare, Quintiles Transnational, and Surgical Care Affiliates.  According to a company press release:

“This transaction enables our shareholders to realize substantial value from their investment in IMS with an immediate cash premium, while at the same time strengthening our position to capture long-term growth opportunities,” said IMS Chairman and CEO David R. Carlucci. “With the backing of world-class private equity partners, we will continue our focus on expanding into new markets, further improving the quality and depth of offerings we deliver to our clients, and playing a bigger role in the healthcare market.”

“IMS Health has consistently demonstrated it is the definitive source of critical data and services to the evolving healthcare industry,” said Jonathan Coslet, Senior Partner, TPG. “We are pleased to join with our long-time partner, CPP Investment Board, and a talented management team to continue the growth of this outstanding franchise.”

Deutsche Bank acted as a financial advisor to IMS Health.  Lazard rendered the fairness opinion.

Sullivan and Cromwell acted as legal advisor.

Goldman Sachs, BofA Merrill, Barclays Capital, Evercore Partners & J.P. Morgan acted as financial advisors TPG and CPP.

Please see IMS Health Press Release…

Goldman Sells Stake in Shineway Group

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Goldman Sachs Logo

On November 4, 2009, Goldman Sach’s Asia Special Situations Group (ASSG) agreed to sell half of its holding in Shineway Group, a Chinese meat processor known for its sausage products.  During the second half of 2006, a team led by Goldman and CDH Investments bought control of Shineway for about $256 million.  Since 2006, Goldman has earned about 5.0x on the investment and is selling the current stake for about $150 million.  The Shineway transaction was one of the first leveraged buyouts announced that involved a group of foreign financial sponsors.  Goldman’s original stake in the deal was about 10%.  After the deal, CDH, a spinoff from China International Capital Corp., will be the 2nd largest shareholder in Shineway.  Temasek will also remain a major holder in the business.

CICC is an investment banking joint venture 33% owned by Morgan Stanley.

Please visit Reuters for the full news article…