According to the Financial Times, the Australian group plans to combine Spire’s 47 hospitals and clinics with the 37 it already has in the UK. Victor Chua, a partner at Mansfield Advisors, a healthcare consultancy, told the newspaper that he believed the deal would go through at 250p-a-share as there appeared to be no competing offers from private equity firms with experience of owning private hospitals in Europe.
In a statement, Spire Healthcare said that it would be accepting Ramsay’s second offer to acquire the company at 250 pence a share after its first offer of 240 pence a share was rejected. Ramsay Health operates 480 facilities across 11 countries, making it one of the largest and most diverse private healthcare companies in the world.
Ramsay’s CEO Craig McNally, said: “We are confident that our 250 pence cash offer per Spire share, which was reached after extensive negotiations with the Spire board, is fair and reasonable. It is therefore our best and final offer.”
How the UK private healthcare market is benefiting from the pandemic
It comes as a time when the market for private healthcare services in the UK is forecast to reach US$13.8bn by 2025 due to a rise in NHS waiting times and referrals to the private sector.
Research shows that health cover has become the highest public priority and the health and medical insurance market is expected to register a healthy Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.05 per cent between 2021 and 2026.
And according to data published by the Association of British Insurers, although 1.7 million people in the UK had private medical insurance (PMI), the NHS spent nearly £159 billion in 2018-19 – the equivalent to £2,300 for every person in the UK.