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QIC, Goldman Sachs reap a big payday as Icon sold off

Business

The Brisbane-based cancer care company Icon Group has been sold to European investment company EQT Private Equity for $2.4 billion.

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The company was owned by a consortia including QIC and Goldman Sachs who bought it in 2017 from Quadrant Private Equity for more than $1 billion.

Icon was founded by Cathy Reid and Stuart Giles a decade ago. They have progressively sold down their stake in the company.

A sale process for Icon has been going for most of 2021 with EQT and fund manager Morrison & Co in the final race. EQT is understood to now have about 70 per cent of the company while Goldman Sachs has 17 and a group of doctors the remainder. Giles and Reid have also sold their remaining stake.

Icon said the deal demonstrated confidence in the strength of the business.

“The new investment will allow the group to further expand its successful model into Asia and deeper into the northern hemisphere,’’ Icon said in a statement.

Icon chief executive Mark Middleton said the company’s network had a track record of delivering cancer care to areas of unmet need. 

“Now we can drive the next phase of global growth and market leadership through further investment in critical infrastructure and cutting-edge technologies,” Middleton said.

“Our whole network, led by an experienced executive team and strong clinical leadership, are aligned to our mission of delivering the best care possible, to as many people as possible, as close to home as possible.”

Head of EQT Infrastructure’s Asia Pacific Advisory Team Ken Wong said Icon Group was revolutionising the way cancer care was delivered through an integrated model that enabled access for all patients through the decentralisation of care in major cities and bringing cancer care services to the patient in the one location. 

“This best practice cancer care model is well validated in Australia and south-east Asia and our investment will enable this next phase of growth around the world,” Wong said.

“It’s an exciting time to be involved in Icon, and importantly for EQT to be a partner in bringing this model of care to all cancer patients.”

Goldman Sachs’ Stephanie Hui said in the four years as a majority investors Icon Group model had been proven and there is potential for further growth in the years to come. 

“Remaining as a shareholder, we will leverage our global network, capital and industry expertise to continue to support Icon’s management and doctors,’’ she said.

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