Intended for healthcare professionals


Virgin gets slice of England’s primary care services

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 09 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1355
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

    Two publicly quoted independent sector healthcare providers became entirely private companies last week, as Richard Branson’s Virgin took over Assura’s medical division, and Care UK negotiated a management buyout with the private equity group Bridgepoint.

    That apart, the two deals are very different. Assura is basically a property company with £350m (€390m; $530m) of assets, mostly on long term rental to the NHS, a profitable pharmacy chain, and a joint venture operation with local GPs that has won around 50 contracts to provide primary care services in England.

    Assura Medical, the division that will be 75% owned by Virgin when the deal is completed, has been successful in winning contracts but lost £4.4m last year, dragging the whole group into losses. Without its …

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