The Montefiore Hospital, a new private hospital in Brighton and Hove, opened its doors in November 2012 following three years of work by EMC Corporate Finance Limited and EMC Management Consultants Limited (EMC).
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At £35m, the deal is one of the largest inward investments in the South East. It brings an unparalleled range of private hospital services to patients across the South of England in what has been described as “the most advanced hospital in the UK”. The Montefiore Hospital will offer patients a modern and attractive hospital facility, conveniently situated in the heart of the city.
The deal itself took nearly 18 months to complete and the whole project over three years. It began in June 2009 when EMC’s Nik Askaroff and Michael Pay were approached by a group of individuals to look at the feasibility of raising funds to create a medical centre of excellence for their practice. Suitable premises were found and EMC advised on the equity investment and debt to build the centre. However, prior to exchange of contracts it was identified that Brighton & Hove had a unique position in the private healthcare market in that it had, in effect, a monopoly, with only one private hospital group serving Sussex’s largest conurbation.
So, having originally set about creating a medical consulting practice, the project evolved during 2010 into planning (and delivering) the creation of Brighton & Hove’s second privately-owned hospital and the UK’s premier medical facility. The fund requirement increased from £12m to £24m to a final £35m over two years.
EMC developed and wrote a detailed business plan to support the deal and to identify the funding needs. They had to gain a detailed understanding of both the private and public healthcare market in the UK, the main players, barriers to entry and financial performance. The plan included detailed financial models and market analysis and had to be robust enough to be presented to leading healthcare providers and financial institutions.
In autumn 2010, the agents of the old Legal and General building in Hove, Stile Harold Williams, were approached and the building secured, subject to raising the funds for its development.
Following preliminary discussions with six major debt providers it was decided to find commercial partners, as, in the darkest days of the recession and the impact of the credit crunch, it was apparent that a project on this scale would not go ahead without private funds. EMC approached the major healthcare providers, including those in the USA, South Africa and Australia, and in February 2011, after detailed meetings and following intensive negotiations with five parties, Spire Healthcare Limited were selected, and agreed, to lead the project.
The EMC team have been hands-on throughout the process. From identifying the partners and advisers, as well as advising on all of the documents, through to EMC consultant John Packer overseeing the build as Project Manager, the EMC team have been involved with every part of the deal.
The Montefiore Hospital has been welcomed by the community. Besides giving a new lease of life to an historic building, it provides employment for some 150 local people and will generate a welcome stream of new business to shops and cafes in the area. It has also won awards for its architecture and development sensitivities.
Gary Peters, Chairman of the Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership said: “This is fantastic news for the city and a great example of what Brighton needs. The regeneration of a disused building into a magnificent health facility will bring business and much needed local jobs into the city.”
Julia Chanteray, President of the Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce, said: “Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce welcomes the opening of the Montefiore Hospital in Hove. The new hospital builds further the city’s success and expertise in the medical sector, and widens the range of services for people in the city.”
Andy Wood, MD of the Hospital added: “The Montefiore Hospital aims to deliver the best care available anywhere in the country, right on the doorstep of the Brighton & Hove’s 250,000 residents. It represents a tremendously exciting development and should make the city an even more desirable place to live and work.”
Throughout the three years many other professionals in the area have been engaged; DMH Stallard LLP’s Dominic Travers led the legal team; Richard Ager of Nightingale Architects Limited led the architects; and Carl Flynn of MacConvilles acted as surveyors. EMC have been the lead adviser throughout the project and continue to advise the shareholders and Directors of the business on an ongoing basis
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