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Report: PE firms enter race to take over Columbia Pacific's Asian hospital unit

Private equity giants KKR & Co., CVC Capital Partners Ltd. and Carlyle Group LP are among those interested in Columbia Pacific Management Inc.'s Asian hospital business, which could be valued at about $2 billion, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Columbia Asia Hospitals Pvt. Ltd. was reported in February to have launched an auction for its 30 medium-sized medical facilities primarily in India and Malaysia.

One source reportedly said that Columbia Asia has already received nonbinding offers from several financial investors in its first round of bidding. The first-round bids were due March 18, with the second round set to commence by June-end, the sources said.

Sources said other interested parties include Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care Sdn. Bhd., a venture of Malaysia's Sime Darby Holdings Bhd.; Ramsay Health Care Ltd., a publicly traded company in Australia; and IHH Healthcare Bhd., a premium hospital group in Asia.

KKR, Carlyle, CVC, IHH and Ramsay did not comment, while Columbia Pacific did not immediately respond to an email query. Columbia Asia investor Mitsui & Co. Ltd. also did not comment on the sale process, according to Reuters.