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Blackstone Aquires Pulse

Blackstone Aquires Pulse

Hot on the heels of its recent deal to acquire Thornbury Nursing, US based Blackstone has bought Pulse, the 165million staffing agency for doctors, nurses and social workers. The move is part of the private equity groups plan to build a global leader in the healthcare recruitment market through acquisitions.

RI believes that the companys intention is to add at least two more UK healthcare recruitment agencies and understands that it is in talks with at least one overseas recruiter. The deal was announced late Friday afternoon by HGCapital, however, no reference was made to Blackstone and neither Lindsay Dibden from HGCapital nor Richard Macmillan from Pulse were available for contact. Blackstones name emerged over the weekend and the sum of 75 million was suggested as the purchase price. This is double Hg Capitals initial equity investment.

Pulse, which has 4,000 staff and makes 170m of revenues, is to be merged with ICS, a rival healthcare recruitment agency Blackstone bought for 130m in June. It is buying Pulse from HgCapital, which bought it for 67m more than a decade ago.

The UK healthcare recruitment market is worth around 1bn in annual revenue and with the deal done Blackstone may well take what could be a second look at Healthcare Locums, the London-listed group with a market capitalisation of 120m. Healthcare Locums, has already this year said it had been approached by a private equity bidder, this was at a time when its share price was materially higher than its current 103p.

According to RIs Top 250 Report, Pulse are the 3rd largest healthcare recruiter in the UK with HCL the 2nd. Impellam plcs Medacs business has around 180 of UK revenues and is the largest, Allied Healthcare and Ashfield Healthcare make up the remainder of the top 5.

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