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BMI Healthcare close to £2 billion restructuring deal - source

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By Mekhla Raina

(Reuters) – Britain’s largest private healthcare group, BMI Healthcare, is nearing a 2 billion pounds restructuring deal that could cut millions of pounds from its annual rent bill, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

An announcement under which BMI’s rent bill will be cut by about 60 million pounds is likely to be made imminently, the source told Reuters.

Funds including Centerbridge and Och-Ziff Capital Management will inject about 50 million pounds of equity into the business, and maturity of about 2 billion of debt on the balance sheet of BMI and its property arm General Healthcare Group will be extended by six years, the source said.

Sky News had earlier reported about the deal on Tuesday.

Last year, South African private healthcare operator Netcare <NTCJ.J> had made an all-share offer to buy out minority BMI Healthcare shareholders saying it was making the move because trading conditions “remained difficult” across the private healthcare market.

In March, Netcare drew a line under its ambitions in Britain saying it would exit the market due to difficult trading conditions.

Och-Ziff Capital Management and Centerbridge were not immediately available for comment.

BMI Healthcare operates 59 hospitals and clinics throughout the United Kingdom and had about 276,000 inpatient visits per year, according to its website.

(This story has been refiled to correct millions to billions in the first paragraph.)

(Reporting by Mekhla Raina and Sathvik N in BengaluruEditing by Robin Pomeroy)

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