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Cinven to Buy BUPA's U.K. Hospitals for 1.44 Billion Pounds

Cinven, a European private equity firm, said Monday it agreed to buy British United Provident Association's 25 British hospitals for 1.44 billion pounds ($2.85 billion), boosting its health care holdings.

Cinven already owns Partnerships in Care, an operator of specialist mental health services, BUPA said in a statement.

BUPA is a private health care and health insurance provider that operates in more than 190 countries and has some 46,000 employees. The company is selling off its British hospitals to focus on the insurance business.

"The separation of our hospitals from the insurance business will allow the two, as separate entities, to fulfill their potential and make a greater contribution to the U.K. health care economy," said BUPA Chief Executive Val Gooding.

BUPA will use the proceeds of the sale to cut debt.