Blackstone emerges lead bidder to acquire Team Health Holdings

Private equity firm Blackstone Group, has emerged as the lead bidder to acquire US hospital staffing provider Team Health Holdings Inc, Reuters yesterday reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Blackstone has outbid other suitors in the auction and is in the process of negotiating final terms, the report said.

Reuters could not learn the price offered by Blackstone, but Team Health has a market cap of around $2.9 billion, annual revenues of $3.6 billion and debt of $2.4 billion.

Blackstone had acquired Team Health in 2005 from a group of investors for $1 billion and then took it public in 2009.

Team Health provides outsourced emergency medicine, hospital medicine, critical care, anesthesiology, orthopedic hospitalist, acute care surgery, obstetrics and gynecology hospitalist, ambulatory care, post-acute care and medical call center solutions to approximately 3,400 acute and post-acute facilities and physician groups nationwide.

It is also one of the largest suppliers of healthcare professional staff in the US, and was ranked 573 on the Fortune 1000 list in 2014.

Among its largest shareholders are activist investor Jana Partners, Sachem Head Capital Management, and Corvex Management.

Earlier this year, Jana Partners managed to get three directors to Team Health's board after it disclosed an 8 per cent stake and said that the Tennessee-based company had "made missteps in critical areas including capital allocation, strategy and governance" and "would benefit from the addition of new directors with the necessary expertise, experience and focus on shareholder value."