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A clutch of private equity players and strategic investors have joined the race to pick up stake in Hyderabad-based Quality Care India Ltd, which runs multi-speciality hospital chain CARE Hospitals, from the current private equity owner Advent International.

Emerging markets private equity group Abraaj, Everstone Group, a South Asian strategic investor, Temasek Holdings and Bain Capital are looking to buy stake from Advent even as PE firm Baring Asia and South Africa’s healthcare giant Netcare Ltd remain front-runners to clinch the deal.

In June this year, VCCircle had reported that Netcare and Baring Asia are eyeing a controlling stake in the hospital chain.

The development of new suitors lining up for CARE Hospitals was first reported by The Economic Times which pegged the deal value at Rs 1,500-1,800 crore.

However, sources privy to the development told VCCircle that the deal is expected in the Rs 1,700-2,000 crore range.

“The deal is yet to be finalised and will be closed in the next three-four weeks,” a person familiar with the development said.

Spokesperson of Abraaj Group, Bain Capital and Netcare did not immediately reply to calls and emails whereas Everstone, Temasek, Baring Asia PE and Advent International declined to comment.

In April this year, Advent had roped in investment bank Moelis & Co and Capital Fortunes to help it exit its three-year-old investment. In 2012, it had acquired controlling stake in the chain for $105 million from a bunch of investors including stock market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, Nimmagadda Prasad, the founder of Matrix Labs, and UK-based Ashmore. It had also invested some of the money into the firm through a fresh subscription to shares.

CARE Hospitals Group runs 17 hospitals across nine cities in India and a total bed capacity of 2,400.

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