HgCapital to sell Pulse to Blackstone-owned rival

LONDON, Nov 12 (Reuters) - British private equity firm HgCapital said on Friday it has agreed to sell health and social care staffing business Pulse to a Blackstone-owned rival, earning it twice its initial equity investment. The firm did not give any financial details on the deal but a source familiar with the situation said the deal values Pulse at some 75 million pounds ($120.3 million). A second source said Blackstone intends to merge Pulse with Independent Clinical Services, pursuing a so-called "buy and build strategy". Blackstone bought ICS, which provides nurses and doctors to Britain's National Health Service (NHS) and private medical institutions, earlier this year. Pulse provides bank management services to large NHS Trusts and helps provide nursing care to people in their own homes. The deal values Pulse at about five times full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), putting it on a par with listed health and social care recruiter Healthcare Locums Plc, the first source said. That contrasts with the often double-digit earnings multiples paid for healthcare businesses like nursing homes and diagnostics firms, which have more fixed assets. The deal follows HgCapital's sale of Norwegian software company Visma to U.S. buyout firm KKR for some 1.2 billion pounds in September. Both Visma and Pulse were talking to advisers about stock market listings in 2011, HgCapital chairman Ian Armitage told Reuters in August. ($1=.6232 Pound) (Reporting by Simon Meads; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter) Keywords: HGCAPITAL/PULSE (simon.meads@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 9969; Reuters Messaging: simon.meads.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net) COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Reuters 2010. All rights reserved.

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