LONDON-Bridgepoint and AlpInvest Partners have agreed to sell French nursing home operator Médica for euro 751 million ($960 million) to BC Partners and Axa Private Equity. And in a separate deal, HgCapital plans to sell Castlebeck Care Holdings, a provider of residential care for the learning disabled, for euro 324 million ($414.3 million).

Bridgepoint and AlpInvest bought Médica for euro 330 million ($421 million) in December 2003 from Icade, the property arm of the French state investment group Caisse des Dépôts. It is now one of the major players in the highly fragmented French and Italian markets and offers temporary and permanent accommodation in its nursing homes and assisted-living facilities as well as its convalescent and rehabilitation centers and psychiatric clinics. In France, it is one of three leading players that, between them, hold 40% of the market. The others are Orpea SA and Suren-Medidep. Bridgepoint had planned to take the company public earlier this year but launched the auction at the same time and opted for the sale when the stock market weakened. The Médica deal values the company at euro 750 million ($960 million).

“There is huge expansion in the market in France,” according to BC Partners’ Paris-based spokesman. “BC Partners want to grow Médica both organically and by acquisition.”

UK buyout specialists HgCapital sold Castlebeck Care Holdings, a provider of residential care for the learning disabled, for euro 324 millio ($414.3 million) to private equity firm Lydian Capital Advisors. Based in Darlington, UK, Castlebeck provides specialty healthcare and rehabilitation services for adults and adolescents with learning disabilities and challenging behavior. It has invested nearly euro 43.22 million ($55.21 million) in new hospital facilities across the UK since it was acquired by HgCapital in a secondary buyout from 3i Group plc in July 2002. It now operates 17 hospital and care homes across England and Scotland, providing services in many cases to government-funded patients in need of long-term care.

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