Freshfields and A&O take top spots on Spire Healthcare IPO

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Allen & Overy (A&O) are advising on the flotation of private hospital group Spire Healthcare’s flotation on the London Stock Exchange.

The group, which is backed by private equity giant Cinven, is seeking to raise £315m from the IPO in order to pay down debt. 

Freshfields is advising the Spire on the transaction, led by client partner David Higgins, corporate partners Doug Smith and Mark Austin, and banking partner Chris Davis. 

Meanwhile, A&O is advising the banks – JPMorgan Cazenove, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Numis – on the IPO. The firm has fielded a team including global corporate co-head Andrew Ballheimer, capital markets partner James Roe and senior associate Michael Bloch. 

Spire’s in-house legal team is also heavily involved in the planned flotation, allocating five of its nine lawyers to work on the process full-time. General counsel and group company secretary Daniel Toner is leading the effort, alongside former Freshfields senior associate Marie Forkan. 

Background to this deal: 

Spire Heathcare, which operates 39 hospitals with 7,600 staff, is set to become the first British hospital chain to list on the London Stock Exchange. According to Bloomberg, the transaction ranks as the largest UK healthcare IPO since 1993. 

It has been widely reported that Cinven has been looking to dispose of Spire since March 2014, hiring banks to run a sale process expected to value the company at about £1.5bn including debt. 

Cinven is a longstanding client of Freshfields. Last year, the magic circle firm advised Cinven and Spire on the £700m sale of its property portfolio and a partial refinancing of its loan facilities.