First Choice Emergency hires Goldman, Deutsche for IPO, say sources-Reuters

(Reuters) – First Choice Emergency Room has tapped Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Deutsche Bank AG to prepare an initial public offering that could come in the second quarter of this year, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

First Choice, the largest freestanding emergency room network in Texas and backed by private equity firm Sterling Partners, is the latest in a string of private equity-owned healthcare services companies looking to go public this year.

Representatives for First Choice, Sterling Partners and Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Deutsche Bank declined to comment.

First Choice, founded in 2002 and headquartered in Lewisville, Texas, had around $100 million of revenues in 2012. It offers emergency medical services for adult and pediatric patients, and has locations in Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin and Colorado Springs.

The company, which competes against traditional hospital emergency rooms, says its facilities are equipped to serve both major and minor emergency needs, and its business model helps cut down on patient wait times.

Sterling, which made an investment in First Choice in 2011, focuses on investing growth capital in small and mid-market companies in education, healthcare, and business services industries.