Cinven’s Spire rises slightly in London stock market debut: Reuters

British hospital group Spire Healthcare opened up slightly at 211 pence a share in its London stock market debut, after pricing at 210 pence, the bottom of the range and valuing the firm at 842 million pounds ($1.4 billion).

Spire, which is owned by European private equity firm Cinven, is raising gross proceeds of 315 million pounds through the sale of new shares to pay down debt. The original price range was 210-300 pence a share, later narrowed to 210-220 pence.

Cinven, which still holds 61.9 percent of the company, created Spire in 2007 through its purchase of the hospital business of private healthcare group Bupa. It paid 1.4 billion pounds for the business, including a hefty debt burden.

Spire is Britain’s second-largest private hospital chain, and generated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 154.1 million pounds in 2013 after rental costs.

However the investment has been a tricky one for the private equity fund, with investors concerned at the company’s reliance on contracts with Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).

Spire is also facing claims from hundreds of patients following the PIP breast implant scandal, which has already led to it voluntarily replacing all implants.

The listing is one of the last major deals to come before the traditionally quiet summer break, after a glut of European stock market debuts this year which saw levels more than triple compared with the same period last year.

JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley are joint global co-ordinators. JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are also acting as joint sponsors. Numis is co-lead manager.

(Reporting by Freya Berry; Editing by William Hardy and Pravin Char)