Acadia to sell celebrity rehab centre operator Priory

LONDON: Acadia Healthcare Co Inc said it would sell its UK unit the Priory Group, a care homes operator known for its celebrity clientele, to private equity firm Waterland for about £1.08bil (US$1.47bil).

The deal comes more than a year after the behavioral healthcare services provider said it was looking to sell the business, which it had acquired in January 2016 for nearly US$850mil.

Priory has more than 450 facilities throughout Britain and specialises in the treatment of mental health problems, including eating disorders, as well as alcohol and drug addictions.

Shares of Acadia rose about 2% to US$49.5 as the Franklin, Tennessee-based company said it expects proceeds of about US$1.35bil from the sale, with the amount set to be used for paying down debt.

Jefferies analysts said the sale price of the UK unit was above what most investors were expecting and that its disposal would refocus the company towards its high-growth US business. — Reuters

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