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Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Centerbridge Partners LP will buy Medical Solutions from TPG Growth.Christinne Muschi/Reuters

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and a partner will buy one of the biggest U.S. health care staffing companies, taking advantage of the high demand for nurses.

The Caisse and Centerbridge Partners LP will buy Medical Solutions from TPG Growth, part of the buyout firm previously known as Texas Pacific Group. TPG Growth has owned the company since 2017.

A source familiar with the terms told The Globe and Mail the deal values the company at about US$2-billion, including debt, and the Caisse and Centerbridge will split ownership 50-50. The Globe is not identifying the source because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The parties did not disclose the financial terms in Monday’s announcement.

Medical Solutions is an Omaha, Neb., company that says it provides 12,000 medical staff annually to more than 4,500 facilities in the United States. While the company’s core business is “travel nurses,” who journey to fill temporary shortages at hospitals and other care providers, the company has expanded into other areas of medical staffing.

Medical Solutions itself is in deal-making mode: In 2018, the company acquired PPR Talent Management Group in Jacksonville, Fla., and in 2019 acquired Omaha-based C&A Industries, parent to a number of health care staffing companies. Reuters reported in 2017 that TPG’s purchase valued the company at US$500-million before those deals.

Researchers at Staffing Industry Analysts said in 2019 that a combined Medical Solutions/C&A would “have the potential to” become the fourth-largest health care staffing company in the United States.

Martin Laguerre, head of private equity and capital solutions at the Caisse, said in a statement the Medical Solutions investment would “support the next phase of its expansion.”

The shortage of nurses and other front-line medical workers has been one of the major stories of the COVID-19 pandemic, as a crush of patients has overwhelmed hospitals and caused widespread burnout.

Any long-term impact in the number of people going into the nursing profession could create a supply-demand imbalance: In 2017, the U.S. federal government’s National Center for Health Workforce Analysis said it expected the number of registered nurses to grow from 2.8 million in 2014 to 3.9 million in 2030. And while it expected there would be enough nurses to satisfy overall demand, it still projected that seven states would have shortages in 2030, with four having a deficit of 10,000 or more full-time equivalents.

In a statement, Centerbridge said the global pandemic “is causing higher levels of burnout and lower morale for the country’s clinical workforce,” and it hopes the company can “solve the supply and demand imbalances” for nurses and other health professionals.

Recent Caisse health care efforts have included participating in the Lumira Ventures IV fund for biotechnology and medtech investments; joining a funding round for AlayaCare, a global home and community care software company; backing an acquisition by ambulance company Demers Braun Crestline; and supporting a deal by accessibility company Savaria Corp.

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