Clearwater International advises Vanguard Healthcare on refinancing deal

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Mobile healthcare provider Vanguard Healthcare Solutions Ltd has raised €20.9m in a debt refinancing deal with high street bank AIB, in a transaction advised by Clearwater International.

Vanguard provides additional capacity through the provision of mobile surgical facilities – including operating theatres, endoscopy suites, mobile wards and clinics – to the NHS and private healthcare providers in the UK and abroad. The company has performed strongly throughout the past decade, with its growing fleet of 40 units in use around the UK and Europe.

The company has been financially backed by MML Capital since April 2009, when it underwent a management buyout from Nuffield Health.

The refinancing of the existing debt facilities will significantly reduce the company’s cost of capital and decrease annual debt service by almost €2.5m. The refinancing will also allow capital to be made available for investment in new units and services.

Ian Gillespie, CEO of Vanguard Healthcare, said: “This deal is great news for the business, giving us the freedom to invest more in our fleet and further develop our business at a crucial time for the UK health service.

The NHS is increasingly looking for ways of deploying flexible surgical capacity, to tackle the waiting list challenge and bring care closer to patients’ homes – so it is vital we have the infrastructure and the funding to be able to match this growing demand.”

Clearwater International’s Debt Advisory team advised Vanguard Healthcare, leading the refinancing negotiations for the company and raising senior debt facilities.

The deal team was led by partner and head of debt advisory Chris Smith with support from assistant director Helen Lowe.

Chris Smith, head of Debt Advisory at Clearwater International, said: “With the world’s largest fleet of mobile healthcare facilities, Vanguard Healthcare is a fantastic business, considered invaluable to the UK healthcare system. However, the business has found itself being hampered by its capital structure. This refinancing will provide the opportunity for the company to achieve its true international potential and we are pleased to have played an integral role in seeing its ongoing success.”