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CVC in lead to buy Epicor from Apax for over $3bn. Reuters

London-based CVC Capital Partners is reportedly pursuing a potential €5bn (£3.6bn $5.3bn) sale or stock market floatation of IDCSalud, Spain's largest private hospital group.

Private equity player CVC owns a majority stake in the healthcare operator while chairman Victor Madera's family has retained minority shares.

IDCSalud could be valued at up to €5bn, representing a multiple of 12 times its pro-forma EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of around €420m, Reuters reported.

Any sale is expected to gain pace in the second half of 2015, but may not be complete before Spain's general elections, which are due by the year-end, the news agency added.

Potential bidders will need to take into account any changes to healthcare policies and public spending.

An eventual listing will also be finalised in the first-quarter of 2016.

IDCSalud employs over 17,000 people in Spain and operates 40 hospitals and 30 medical centres.

Pursued by Reuters, a CVC spokesman refused to comment while IDCSalud representative Julio Fernández-Llamazares denied that any sale process was being launched.

As part of a buy-and-build approach, CVC pursued a series of bolt-on acquisitions to expedite IDCSalud's growth across Spain, such as health firm Fremap in March and Madrid-based Ruber Hospital in December.

CVC also bought a majority stake in hospital group Quiron last year and merged it with IDCSalud to create the largest healthcare operator in Spain and top five player in Europe.

CVC acquired IDCSalud, formerly known as Capio Spain, in 2011 from the Swedish healthcare group Capio.