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Vanguard Health Systems Plans IPO

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By Bloomberg News
April 15, 2011

NEW YORK — Vanguard Health Systems Inc., the hospital operator controlled by Blackstone Group, is planning an initial public offering, said two people with knowledge of the preparations.

The Nashville company may submit a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission as early as this month, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. Vanguard plans to submit the filing without underwriters, the people said.

Blackstone, based in New York, agreed in 2004 to buy a majority stake in Vanguard for about $1.75 billion, according to a company statement. Vanguard was formed in 1997 by its management and Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, the statement said. An April 8 filing with the SEC showed Vanguard intends to exchange senior notes for registered senior notes, which sometimes precedes an IPO.

Vanguard’s affiliates owned and managed 18 acute-care and specialty hospitals nationwide. In Massachusetts, Vanguard operates Framingham’s MetroWest Medical Center and St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester.

Last month, HCA Holdings Inc., the hospital chain whose owners include KKR & Co. and Bain Capital LLC, raised $3.79 billion in its IPO, the largest ever by a private equity-backed company, according to Preqin Ltd.

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