FILE PHOTO – Trading information for KKR & Co is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 23, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Buyout firms such as KKR (KKR.N), Blackstone (BX.N) and CVC are competing to buy a stake in the hospital unit of Philippines’ Metro Pacific Investments Corp (MPI.PS), people with knowledge of the matter said.

Metro Pacific Investments, which has interests in power, water and other sectors, has said it plans to sell a 40% stake in Metro Pacific Hospitals at a valuation of $2-$2.5 billion, marking the country’s biggest healthcare deal.

The stake in the unit, the operator of 14 hospitals, many of which are among the country’s largest and most modern, has also attracted interest from other financial and strategic investors, the people said, declining to be named as the talks are private.

Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings is among those interested in the hospital unit, one person said.

The bidders are valuing the hospital unit at about $1.5-$2 billion, pegging the valuation at 15 to 20 times next year’s estimated core profit of the unit, according to the people.

Metro Pacific Investments, which currently owns an 85.6% stake in the hospital unit, declined comment.

KKR, CVC, Blackstone and Temasek also declined comment.

Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Additional reporting by Neil Jerome Morales in MANILA; Editing by Himani Sarkar

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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