WL Ross and Mac Crawford Form Healthcare Venture

NEW YORK, July 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., CEO of WL Ross & Co. LLC, and Edwin "Mac" Crawford announced today a joint venture, Crawford-Ross, to co-invest in and restructure healthcare companies.  Mr. Ross said, "We are prepared to invest more than $1 billion to support Mac and his team as we jointly build a major position in healthcare."

Mr. Ross added, "He took Caremark from a money losing, debt-laden company to a $37 billion pharmacy benefits management enterprise and then merged it with CVS to create the 20th largest company in America.  Earlier, he had transformed the bankrupt Charter Medical Corp. into the nation's largest managed care behavioral healthcare firm.  Given his track record in successfully restructuring and operating healthcare businesses, he is the executive best positioned to find and capitalize on opportunities created by the turmoil caused by the recent healthcare legislation."

Mr. Crawford said, "My team and I are excited to join forces with such a distinguished private equity firm at this pivotal time for the healthcare industry.  The pending structural changes to the industry will create new winners and losers, and I am eager to play a major role in adapting to this challenging environment."

In April 2000, Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. and five other restructuring professionals left Rothschild Inc. and created WL Ross & Co. LLC by acquiring from Rothschild private equity partnerships with $450 million of capital.  Since then, the firm has sponsored more than $10 billion of private equity transactions, drawing on the skills of 31 professionals in New York City; Beijing, China; Mumbai, India; Tokyo, Japan and West Palm Beach, Florida.  The firm has invested in healthcare, airlines, automotive components, banking, independent power producers, insurance, railcar leasing and manufacturing, steel and textiles in North and South America, Asia and Europe.  In 2006, the firm became the distressed investment affiliate of Invesco Ltd.

WL Ross & Co. awards include:  Buyouts Magazine Top 20 LBO Deals in 2009 for BankUnited; M&A Advisor Turnaround Deal of the Year 2008; Crain's Detroit Magazine Best Deal of 2007 for International Auto Components Group; M&A Advisor International Deal of 2006 for Plascar Participacoes Industriais S.A.; M&A Advisor Private Equity Firm of the Year 2006; Private Equity Intelligence 2006 One of the Twenty Most Influential Private Equity Funds of All Time; Money Management 2005 Alternative Manager of the Year Nominee.

Mac Crawford has led operational turnarounds of businesses for more than 30 years.  Most recently, Mr. Crawford served as Chairman of CVSCaremark, Inc., a Fortune 20 company formed by the 2007 merger of CVS and Caremark.  In 1998, he joined the country's then largest physician practice management company, Med Partners (later renamed Caremark), which was struggling amid operating losses, debt obligations of $1.8 billion and major changes in the healthcare industry. He made the strategic decision to sell assets and focus on the small but growing pharmacy benefits management ("PBM") business.  Mr. Crawford oversaw dramatic growth of the PBM business, increasing revenues to $9 billion by 2003, while significantly lowering Caremark's debt. In 2004, he orchestrated the acquisition of AdvancePCS, which made Caremark the second-largest PBM, generating over $23 billion in annual revenue.  By 2007, Caremark had grown to be a $37 billion PBM managing over 600 million prescriptions when Mr. Crawford led the company through the strategic merger with drug chain CVS.  Mr. Crawford was named Institutional Investor's Best CEO in Healthcare Technology and Distribution for 2005, 2006 and 2007.

SOURCE WL Ross & Co. LLC




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