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Denis O’Brien’s Beacon Hospital sold to Macquarie for estimated €400m

Sale of Dublin hospital, which treats more than 200,000 patients annually, could net businessman €100m profit before tax

Australian financial services giant Macquarie’s asset management arm has agreed to buy Beacon Hospital in a deal that is estimated to be worth more than €400 million.

Shareholders in the private hospital in Dublin, which is 80 per cent owned by Denis O’Brien, agreed to sell to the asset manager through its Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 7. It is understood that Macquarie pitched an unsolicited bid last year for the hospital, based in Sandyford in south Dublin.

Representatives for the Beacon, Mr O’Brien and Macquarie declined to comment on the purchase price for the hospital. However, industry sources said it was likely to be valued at more than €400 million.

This would result in Mr O’Brien making a profit of more than €100 million before tax from the deal, after deducting equity and loans he had committed to a business that he took control of in 2014.


The Beacon also had €88.5 million of loans from Bank of Ireland as of the end of 2022, according to the latest set of publicly available accounts for Beacon Medical Group Sandyford Limited, the company behind the hospital.

“Beacon Hospital has a proven track record of investment and innovation, constantly evolving our services and infrastructure to better meet the healthcare needs of our patients,” said hospital chief executive Michael Cullen on Tuesday. “The exceptional growth experienced over the past 10 years is largely due to the encouragement and investment provided by the hospital’s majority shareholder, Denis O’Brien, who empowered the board and management to grow and evolve Beacon Hospital into one of Ireland’s leading facilities today.”

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Mr Cullen will remain as chief executive and a shareholder in the business once the deal is complete. It is expected to close by the end of the first half of the year.

“Looking to the future, we believe that Macquarie Asset Management’s support as our long-term shareholder, with its global expertise in healthcare and social infrastructure, will be critical as we embark on the next phase of our growth plans,” he said. “Our new partner will work closely with us as we look to build the largest private healthcare campus in Ireland to meet current and future demand.”

Mr O’Brien (65) acquired control of the Beacon in 2014 after buying, for an undisclosed amount, some €105.4 million of loans tied to the business that were owed to Ulster Bank and units of the hospital’s then majority owner, US-based healthcare group UPMC. He subsequently injected €94.9 million of equity into the Beacon in 2015 to replace much of the loans, which, by then, were owed to one of his companies.

At the end of 2022, the hospital had €88.5 million in bank loans and also owed Mr O’Brien, who owns 80 per cent of the business, and minority shareholders, led by Mr Cullen and fellow co-founder of the hospital, Prof Mark Redmond, some €98 million.

The Beacon, which was set up in 2006, serves more than 200,000 patients each year and has 251 beds, eight operating theatres, three catheterisation laboratories and four endoscopy suites.

In 2020, the hospital group acquired the adjacent Beacon Hotel. An Bord Pleanála granted permission last year for a €75 million redevelopment of the hotel, which would add 70 beds.

Senior managing director at Macquarie Asset Management Hani Zogheib said the company would work closely with the team at Beacon Hospital to further develop its facilities and specialist medical expertise.

The private healthcare facility provides a full range of acute care and specialist diagnostic services to patients. Since Mr O’Brien took control in April 2014, the hospital has expanded significantly and has doubled the number of staff employed to more than 2,000 consultants, nurses and healthcare professionals.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times