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Corporate finance market round-up

Most surprising acquisition of the month

A number of large healthcare deals were announced over the month. UnitedHealth Group of the US agreed to acquire compatriot Pacificare Health Systems for $8.1 billion and Netherlands-based publisher VNU announced it was buying US health data company IMS Health for $7 billion.

But the strangest healthcare deal goes to Dutch bank ABN Amro, which bought the UK's Priory Group, a chain of private rehab centres and health clinics famous for getting celebrities through their drug and alcohol addictions and emotional breakdowns.

UK celebs such as Kate Moss, comedian Michael Barrymore and former England football player Paul Gascoigne have also used its services. ABN Amro paid €1.5 billion to Doughty Hanson for the group.

Moving on

Jane Wheeler has left Morgan Stanley to become senior managing director at Evercore Partners, a merger advisory boutique. At Morgan Stanley, she headed financial securities and financial technology investment banking.

Private-equity deals up – again

The volume of global M&A transactions or leveraged buyouts backed by private equity increased by 85% in the second quarter of 2005 over the first, according to Dealogic. European deals were up 100% in the second quarter over the first.

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