The Priory set to raise over US$1bn

A Rothschild-conducted auction is expected to double the price paid for a UK health clinic three years ago.

Rothschild has been retained by The Priory Group to exit the business for about £600m (US1.1bn), according to industry sources.

The Priory, an independent provider of acute and secure mental health, neuro-rehabilitation and specialist educational services, is currently owned by private equity house Doughty Hanson. Doughty acquired the business from Westminster Healthcare for £288m in 2002. According to Doughty’s corporate literature, the intention was to exit the business through an IPO.

However, industry experts say that a sale to one of the larger private equity-backed trade players such as Four Seasons or Southern Cross could also be on the cards.