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Acadia Healthcare Up on Plan to Sell U.K. Division for $1.45B

Proceeds from Acadia's sale of The Priory Group will be used to pay down debt and other corporate commitments.

Shares of Acadia Healthcare  (ACHC) - Get Acadia Healthcare Company, Inc. Report rose Wednesday morning after the medical care facilities operator said it had entered a definitive agreement to sell its U.K. operations to Waterland Private Equity for £1.07 billion ($1.45 billion).

Shares of the Franklin, Tenn., company were rising 2.74% to $49.89 at last check.

The deal is expected to close next month.

Acadia expects the sale of The Priory Group, its U.K. division, to result in proceeds of approximately $1.35 billion, based on the current exchange rate and net of transaction costs and the settlement of existing foreign currency hedging liabilities, the company said.

Acadia said it plans to use the proceeds to pay down debt and for other corporate purposes. 

"Since announcing our decision to explore strategic alternatives with respect to the Priory Business, our primary objective has always been to complete a transaction that would maximize value for our stockholders," said Chief Executive Debbie Osteen, in a statement.

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"We believe we are well-positioned to meet the strong demand for mental health and substance use treatment across the U.S.," Osteen said. "We will continue to focus on delivering the highest level of patient care and advancing our position as a leading behavioral healthcare facilities operator in the U.S.”

In October, Acadia beat Wall Street's third-quarter earnings and revenue expectations. Revenue totaled $833.3 million, compared with $777.3 million a year earlier. The latest figure beat analysts' consensus estimate of $800.2 million.

Acadia Healthcare is scheduled to announce its next quarterly earnings results on Feb. 25.

Analysts expect Acadia to post sales of $826.70 million for the current quarter.