REFILE-UPDATE 1-Bain leads 1 bln pound race for Priory -sources

(Refiles to clarify that “one of the sources” spoke in second
paragraph, not “the source”)

* FT says Bain to start exclusive talks in days

* Bain to meet banks to talk financing this week -source

(Adds details from sources)

LONDON, Oct 14 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. private equity firm Bain
Capital is the front-runner for the near 1 billion pound ($1.6
billion) deal for mental health specialist the Priory Group,
people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Bain has not yet entered exclusive talks with the owners of
the Priory, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L: ), one of the sources
said. The Financial Times said exclusive talks would start in
the coming days.

The Priory operates more than 50 hospitals, schools and care
homes in Britain and is best known for treating celebrities.
RBS, majority owned by the UK government, is seeking just over 1
billion pounds for the business, as part of its sale of non-core
assets to slim its balance sheet.

RBS and Bain declined to comment.

Bain will meet several banks this week to line up debt
financing for the deal, potentially of up to 600 million pounds,
and perhaps relying solely on sterling high-yield bonds, one
source said. JPMorgan (JPM.N: ), RBS and other banks could be
involved, sources said.

Other bidders for the Priory included Blackstone (BX.N: ),
Advent International and Cinven (CINV.UL: ). [ID:nLDE68E1SG]
($1 = 0.6257 pound)
(Reporting by Karolina Tagaris, Steve Slater, Simon Meads and
Quentin Webb; Editing by Will Waterman)

REFILE-UPDATE 1-Bain leads 1 bln pound race for Priory -sources