Private equity giants, including former Phones4U owner BC Partners, are finalising bids for 19 hospitals being offloaded by US healthcare giant Acadia.
The deal could raise as much as £300m for Acadia Healthcare, which bought the Priory hospital for £1.5bn in January.
Acadia’s purchase of Priory – best known for treating celebrities including super model Kate Moss and pop star Robbie Williams — sparked competition concerns from the Competition and Markets Authority.
The watchdog is concerned it could push up prices for local authorities and the NHS, which pay fees to companies to treat patients.
It’s thought Acadia will be able to avoid a full-blown competition inquiry if the sale goes through.
Private equity firms Apax Partners and Carlyle have also been named in reports as preparing bids.