Welsh Carson Puts Concentra Up for Sale

After owning the company for more than a decade,  Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe has put Concentra on the block, peHUB has learned.

Barclays is advising on the sale, sources say.

In 1998, Welsh Carson acquired Concentra, which provides healthcare and wellness services to employers and the general public, in a deal valued at $1.1 billion. It’s not clear how much Welsh Carson invested. Concentra has $752 million in annual revenue, according to the Welsh Carson web site.

Larger buyout shops would likely be interested in Concentra, a banker says. This could include Blackstone or TPG or KKR. Strategics are not considered viable buyers.

“This will require a sizeable equity check,” a buyout executive says.

Concentra, of Addison, Texas, is a national provider of occupational health services. The company has 300 medical centers in 40 states that offer occupational medicine, urgent care, physical therapy, and wellness services, according to its web site. Recently, the company has been trying to morph itself into a provider of primary care clinics, the banking source says.

“Concentra was the place you went for drug tests if you got hurt on the job, because they have clinics near employers,” the banker says.

The company generated $808 million revenues during the 12 months ended March 31, 2009, according to Moody’s Investors Services. Over the same period Concentra produced about $83 million of cash from operations, Moody’s said.

New York-based Welsh Carson is a major player in the healthcare space. The PE shop has invested in Bausch & Lomb, Multiplan, Aptuit, and Ardent Health Services.

Concentra is not the oldest holding at Welsh Carson. The PE shop has owned Global Knowledge since 1995. So why is the buyout shop selling Concentra now? “The high yield market is good and Welsh Carson wants to monetize it,” the banker says.

Officials for Welsh Carson could not be reached for comment.

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