By: Editorial Staff, Date: April 28th, 2022

Global giant KKR continues to move on opportunities in a market that has a lot of players sitting on the sidelines. With a $20 billion tab, the private equity firm moved to add Australia’s Ramsay Health Care to its portfolio. The bid was pending but insiders are fairly convinced that KKR’s offer is a serious realization. Ramsay Health spokespeople haven’t said much on the matter, staying silent versus trumpeting the issue, but the health company was already reaching $15 billion in valuation by Tuesday night.

As Australia’s largest private care provider as well as having a solid presence in at least 10 other countries and 532 hospital offices globally, Ramsay Health Care would be a significant addition to KKR’s, particularly in the international health industry. Much of the confirmation of the acquisition bid is pending review for due diligence, but most folks are expecting to see the purchase go through, redrawing the map on the health field, especially in Australia.

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EY Oceania head of mergers and acquisitions, Duncan Hogg said that the healthcare sector will continue to be attractive to private equity both in Australia and globally given its downside protection coupled with the potential for material upside as the sector transitions through COVID.

According to him, this will drive further healthcare M&A during 2022.

Australian deal transactions have been significantly off in the first part of 2022, almost half the level of what would normally be expected in the first quarter. The merger and acquisition levels are nowhere close to what they were a year ago to date, so the KKR move would easily be the biggest deal of the year so far. Much of the hesitation may very well be due to a sense of economic instability worldwide, quiet moves with the recovery from the COVID pandemic, and Europe being preoccupied with the war in Ukraine.

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