Vestar Capital Taking Health Grades Private

Vestar Capital Partners has agreed to acquire Health Grades Inc. (Nasdaq: HGRD), a a Golden, Colo.-based healthcare ratings organization. The $8.20 per share price represents a 29% premium to yesterday’s closing price, and values Health Grades at approximately $294 million.


Vestar Capital Partners V, L.P. (“Vestar”) and Health Grades, Inc. (Nasdaq:HGRD) (“HealthGrades”) today announced a definitive agreement for an affiliate of Vestar to acquire all of the outstanding shares of HealthGrades for $8.20 per share, which represents a premium of approximately 32% over HealthGrades’ 30-day average closing stock price, and a premium of approximately 29% over the closing price of HealthGrades’ common stock on July 27, 2010, the last trading day prior to today’s announcement. The aggregate purchase price for the equity of HealthGrades is approximately $294 million (which consists of approximately 35.9 million shares, inclusive of all shares of common stock outstanding, securities convertible into common stock and shares of common stock issuable pursuant to a noncompete agreement with an executive officer).

Under the terms of an agreement unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of HealthGrades, an affiliate of Vestar will commence an all-cash tender offer no later than August 10, 2010. The offer will be conditioned upon the acquisition by Vestar’s affiliate of at least a majority of HealthGrades’ shares on a fully-diluted basis pursuant to the tender offer and purchases pursuant to tender and support agreements, and other customary closing conditions including regulatory approval. Executive officers of HealthGrades beneficially owning approximately 21% of HealthGrades’ fully diluted shares have entered into agreements to support the transaction and to tender or otherwise sell shares to Vestar’s affiliate. Following completion of the tender offer, the affiliate of Vestar will acquire all of the remaining publicly-held shares of HealthGrades at $8.20 per share through a second-step merger.

Kerry Hicks, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of HealthGrades, stated, “We are pleased to announce an agreement of HealthGrades to be acquired by Vestar Capital Partners. We believe the acquisition price of $8.20 per share, which represents a premium of approximately 32% over our 30-day average closing stock price, represents a strong return for our stockholders and is a great confirmation of all of the efforts of our management team and all of our employees.”

Citigroup Global Markets Inc. is serving as financial advisor to HealthGrades. Shearman & Sterling LLP and Faegre & Benson LLP are serving as legal counsel to HealthGrades. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel to Vestar.

Conference Call and Webcast

HealthGrades will hold a conference call, which will also be broadcast live over the Internet, to discuss its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2010, at 4:15 p.m. Eastern Time/2:15 p.m. Mountain Time on July 28, 2010. Details regarding accessing the conference call broadcast are available on HealthGrades’ website located at

About Vestar

Vestar is a leading international private equity firm specializing in management buyouts and growth capital investments with $7 billion in assets under management. The firm targets companies in the U.S. and Europe with valuations of $250 million to $3 billion and operations in five key industry sectors: consumer/services, diversified industries, healthcare, media/communication, and financial services. Vestar invests and collaborates with incumbent management teams, family owners or corporations in a creative, flexible and entrepreneurial way to build long-term franchise and enterprise value. Since the firm’s founding in 1988, the Vestar funds have completed more than 65 investments in companies with a total value of more than $30 billion. Vestar has operations in New York, Boston, Denver, Milan, Munich, and Paris.

About HealthGrades

HealthGrades is the leading independent healthcare ratings organization, providing quality ratings, profiles and cost information on the nation’s hospitals, physicians, nursing homes and prescription drugs. Millions of patients and many of the nation’s largest employers, health plans and hospitals rely on HealthGrades’ quality ratings, advisory services and decision-support resources. The HealthGrades network of websites, including and, is a top-ten health property according to ComScore and is the Internet’s leading destination for patients choosing providers. More information on the company can be found at