Managed care company Centene has agreed to divest Circle Health Group, a British independent hospital operator, to UAE-based healthcare network PureHealth.

Valued at around $1.2bn, including debt, the transaction is part of US-based Centene’s strategic focus on core business areas.

PureHealth CEO Farhan Malik said: “Our mission at PureHealth is to drive scientific innovation to unlock longevity and greater quality of life for humankind.

“Through integrating the expertise of both organisations, we positively impact the lives of patients globally. PureHealth, as the region’s largest healthcare group, is well-positioned to make significant contributions to the improvement of healthcare systems and access to world-class medical services in the UAE and beyond.”

The deal awaits regulatory clearance and is expected to be completed in Q1 2024.

Dickson Minto was the legal counsel to Centene for the transaction while Barclays was its financial adviser.

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Centene CEO Sarah London said: “Circle Health is an innovative healthcare organisation that has had a significant impact for the benefit of patients across the UK.

“We are confident that this business will continue to thrive, providing access to high-quality care and delivering improved clinical outcomes under the ownership of Pure Health.

“This transaction marks another milestone in our portfolio review and showcases continued momentum against our value creation plan.”

Circle Health Group operates 53 hospitals across the UK, serving a diverse patient base.

The firm initially invested in Circle Health in 2019 and picked its remaining equity in 2021.