Bain Beats Warburg In Air Medical Auction

Just a short post on the Air Medical Group sale before I head out for the weekend.

Bain Capital inked a deal last night to buy Air Medical for $1 billion. Brockway Moran & Partners and MVP Capital Partners are the sellers.

Air Medical, which flies people in need of critical care to hospitals or medical centers, is a combination of several companies that Brockway and MVP began buying in 2004. The sale to Bain is expected to close during the third or fourth quarter.

Brockway Moran and MVP, along with Air Medical’s management, will retain stakes in the company. Of the four investors, Bain will own the most, says a source who asked not to be named. But the big question is: What happened to Warburg Pincus? Earlier this month, Warburg, as well as Bain, was vying for Air Medical Group. “They didn’t win [the auction],” the source says.

New York-based Warburg, which has $30 billion in assets under management, is a strong investor in the health care space. The PE shop in June invested $85 million in Metropolis Healthcare, a chain of diagnostic labs in India. Warburg’s focus on “health care services and outsourcing has appeared to be somewhat less intensive over recent months,” a banker says.

Several sources noted the high price Bain was paying for Air Medical. “This $1 billion is on the high end,” a different banker says. “It’s definitely rich.”

Barclays Capital and Moelis & Co. advised Air Medical. Bain used Morgan Stanley, BofA Merrill Lynch and Citi as their financial advisors.

A Warburg spokesman declined comment.