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Exit Edelsten after selling chain of clinics

THE former GP Geoffrey Edelsten has cashed out of the medical industry, selling his Allied Medical Group chain of clinics in a deal said to be worth up to $200 million.

THE former GP Geoffrey Edelsten has cashed out of the medical industry, selling his Allied Medical Group chain of clinics in a deal said to be worth up to $200 million.

The deal that Mr Edelsten and his business partner, Trevor Thompson, have struck with the healthcare giant Sonic caps a colourful 45-year career, taking in stints as a doctor, entrepreneur and owner of the Sydney Swans.

It completes a climb back from the very bottom, including bankruptcy and time in jail for soliciting hitman Christopher Dale Flannery to beat up a former patient of one of his clinics.

BusinessDay revealed last week that Sonic Healthcare was said to have signed a deal with Mr Edelsten and Mr Thompson after several rounds of due diligence.

While Mr Edelsten and Mr Thompson yesterday confirmed the sale, the price at which the 21-clinic chain has changed hands remains shrouded in mystery.

Stockmarket analysts valued the deal at between $75 million to $100 million, but Mr Edelsten said that figure was inaccurate.

Citing a confidentiality agreement, he declined to give an exact figure but said the price was "consistent" with a $200 million valuation produced by the merchant bank UBS last year.

Mr Edelsten said the sale process began last year after he spoke with a UBS analyst, who he said was impressed with the company and suggested it would be worth $200 million if it was taken over by a larger healthcare group.

Since then, Allied Medical Group had been "inundated" with offers, Mr Edelsten said.

He made his first fortune in 1984 when he opened a pioneering 24-hour medical clinic in Sydney. Within a few years, the single site had ballooned into a lavish empire of "superclinics", each complete with chandeliers and a white grand piano in the waiting room.

Mr Edelsten is banned from practising medicine but acted as a consultant to Allied (run by Mr Thompson) and owned four of the clinics outright.

Despite his wife Brynne waltzing up a storm on the popular television program Dancing with the Stars, Mr Edelsten said he had no plans to follow in her footsteps.

"I don't think there is a dancing instructor on this earth that could make me a dancer. I would very much love to be and I enjoy watching Brynne and her efforts, but I certainly could never do it."


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