Stake in hospital PFI project up for sale

Bidders are eyeing a one-third stake in one of the country's most infamous private finance initiative (PFI) deals, University College Hospital (UCH) off Tottenham Court Road.

Sources say Barclays Private Equity and two listed vehicles, HICL and the John Laing Infrastructure Fund, are all mulling bids ranging between £60m and £80m for the stake, currently owned by construction group Balfour Beatty.

But they could face stiff opposition from support services group Interserve and Semperian PPP Investment Partners, which own the remaining two-thirds of the project.

The UCH scheme was notorious as costs soared from £120m to £430m and involved the redevelopment of a historic hospital which was built in 1834.