Healthcare services provider Ramsay Health Care has agreed to acquire UK-based private hospital group Spire Healthcare for approximately $1.4bn (£999.6m).

Under the terms of the deal, Spire shareholders will receive $3.4 (£2.40) per share in cash, which represents a 24.4% premium to Spire’s closing price on 25 May 2021.

Founded in 1964, Ramsay delivers healthcare services via a network of clinical practice, teaching and research globally across ten countries, with a total of about 460 facilities, including 72 private hospitals and day surgery units in Australia.

It also has 34 acute hospitals and day procedure centres in the UK and 132 acute care and mental health facilities in France.

Spire operates 39 hospitals and eight clinics across England, Wales and Scotland. It has a strong collaboration with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

Ramsay Health Care expects the acquisition to bolster its UK business by aiding the company to provide private healthcare services in the country.

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In addition, the deal will extend Ramsay’s geographic reach, enable additional investment in clinical research and development focused on patient outcomes, as well as support further growth.

Ramsay Health Care CEO and managing director Craig McNally said: “This transaction will enable Ramsay to build on its established reputation for delivering high quality patient care and outcomes in the UK.

“The proposed combination builds a broader platform to take advantage of the opportunity for sustained growth in the £5.8bn UK private hospital sector, with the aim of delivering best in class healthcare to all patients.

“Ramsay and Spire together will lead the way on patient outcomes through bolstered partnerships with private health insurers, the NHS, our doctors and clinicians and associated clinical networks.”

The company also noted that the acquisition will be funded from its existing debt facilities.

For the acquisition, Ramsay intends to work with the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which may ask the company to sell some of its hospitals and/or clinics.