Showing posts with label 'Lord Patten'. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 'Lord Patten'. Show all posts

Thursday, 22 March 2012

BBC chief Lord Patten of Barnes, Bridgepoint and the Conflicts of Interest

Lord Patten, the current head of the BBC has direct links to a company heavily involved in private healthcare.

Lord Patten of Barnes is a member of the European Advisory Board for a private equity investment company called Bridgepoint.

The company who also have Alan Milburn the former Secretary of State for Health under Tony Blair, as chair of the board, have been involved in 17 healthcare deals over recent years listed below. Eight of these companies remain as their current investments, which include four in the UK at a combined investment worth over £1.1 billion.

One company acquired by Bridgepoint was residential care company CareUK in a £414 million acquisition in July 2010. CareUK made the headlines in the same year when it was revealed their chairman Jonathan Nash had donated £21,000 in November 2009 to run Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s personal office.

Another deal saw Tunstall, a telehealth company with contracts in the NHS, acquired by Charterhouse Development Company for £555 million; who have another Lord Patten as their senior advisor. Four companies were involved in the transaction, including; Goldman Sachs, Clifford Chance, KPMG, and LEK, three of which have Lords in senior positions. Lord Griffiths is a director at Goldman Sachs; Lord Harris is a senior advisor at KPMG, and Lord Wakeham is an adviser to LEK.

Further transactions for Bridgepoint and a private healthcare company involved Alliance Medical, who sold the MRI scan company for £600 million to Dubai International LLC in 2007. The sale was a weighty profit, following it’s original purchase for £90 million purchase made while Alan Milburn was working at Bridgepoint.  

Further investments by Bridgepoint into the healthcare sector look likely according to their website, which states: ‘We believe that there will be excellent growth prospects and consolidation opportunities for those private sector players that can offer flexible, efficient and innovative business models in this evolving environment.’

Lord Patten was appointed to the Lords in 2005, and before being accepted as the head of the BBC was urged by Labour in March last year, to cut back on his business activities. This however didn’t happen, as he remains a stakeholder of energy giant EDF, a member of the advisory board of BP, advisor to telecom business Hutchison Europe, as well as his advisory role in Bridgepoint. Part of the concern of his appointment to the BBC was that as a member of the Conservative party his appointment would be a political placement at the top of the organisation.

Lord Patten of Barnes didn’t vote on the Health and Social Care bill, but that he was allowed to if he so wanted to, highlights the democratic hole in the Lords rules, which fails to prevent voting despite clear conflicts of interest.


Deals Bridgepoint have made in the healthcare sector include:


Contract drugs manufacturer - Switzerland

Alliance Medical

Diagonostic imaging service provider - UK


Elderly care home operator - Sweden

Care UK

Private healthcare services - UK

Clinical Solutions

Clinical decision support software provider - UK


Orthopaedic products manufacturer - UK


Dialysis care services group - Sweden


Nursing home operator - France


Healthcare flexible staffing agency - UK


Out of hours primary care and healthcare service provider - UK


Nursing home group - France

Profile Therapeutics

Inhaled drug delivery systems manufacturer - UK

Pulse Staffing (formerly Match Group)

Flexible staffing provider - UK


Care provider for people with profound learning difficulties - UK


Ophthalmic lens manufacturer - Germany


Private healthcare group - Finland


Personal and home reassurance telecare systems provider - UK