QIC consortium to buy Australian Icon Group for $746m

Photo: Bloomberg

A consortium comprising QIC Ltd., Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s private equity arm and China’s Pagoda Investment agreed to buy Australian healthcare company Icon Cancer Care Group, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The group agreed to buy Icon, owned by Australian buyout firm Quadrant Private Equity Pty, for more than A$1 billion ($746 million), said the people, asking not to be identified as the information is private. An announcement may be made as early as this week, the people said.

Sydney-based Quadrant is selling Icon amid strong domestic and offshore interest in Australian healthcare assets. China Resources Group and Macquarie Group Ltd. last year bought control of another cancer-services provider, GenesisCare, while Hong Kong-listed Biostime International Holdings Ltd. agreed in 2015 to buy control of health-supplement maker Swisse Wellness Group Pty for A$1.39 billion.

Spokeswomen for QIC and Goldman Sachs declined to comment. Calls made to Icon’s Brisbane office and Pagoda’s Beijing office were not answered on Sunday, outside normal business hours. The Australian Financial Review reported the agreement earlier Sunday.

The private equity unit of QIC, a Queensland state-backed asset manager, agreed last year to buy a stake in cattle ranch North Australian Pastoral for an undisclosed sum. Pagoda is a Beijing-based buyout firm that invests in Chinese and Western companies positioned to benefit from China’s expanding consumption, according to its website.

Quadrant bought a majority stake in Icon in 2014 and built an integrated radiation and medical oncology business, according to its website. The group is one of Australia’s largest providers of cancer care, managing more than 77,000 patient treatment visits a year through a network of more than 75 doctors, the website says.

In 2013, Quadrant sold shares in its Australian fertility services provider Virtus Health Pty in an initial public offering. The buyout firm also bought a stake in Queensland-based Qscan Radiology Clinics, the Australian Financial Review reported this month.

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