A consortium led by Australasian infrastructure fund manager Morrison & Co has offered to acquire a controlling interest in the 70-plus-clinic radiology chain Qscan Group, valuing the company at A$735m (€442m), including debt.

The listed Morrison-managed vehicle Infratil and the unlisted Morrison & Co Growth Infrastructure Fund (MGIF) have conditionally agreed to purchase a 75% stake in the Australian medical group from Quadrant Private Equity.

Infratil said today it would acquire up to 60% of QScan for a total cash equity consideration of up to A$330m. MGIF would own around 15% of Qscan.

“If the acquisition proceeds, the existing doctor and management shareholders will retain ownership of at least 25% of Qscan,” said Infratil in a statement to the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges.

“Qscan provides a high-quality entry point into a sector with structural long-term growth, and potential to scale into a leading healthcare infrastructure platform,” said Marko Bogoievski, CEO of Infratil.

“The diagnostic imaging sector benefits from long-term demographic tailwinds, and technological advances that will allow it to play a growing role in the early detection of diseases such as cancer.”

Paul Newfield, head of Australia and New Zealand for Morrison, said Qscan had “a secure revenue base backed by strong referral networks and a track record of strong, profitable growth, with significant further growth potential”.

Qscan, established in 2006, has grown from a single clinic and hospital contract to a group operating a portfolio of clinics across Australia, including 10 offering oncology-imaging services.

It is currently majority-owned by funds associated with Quadrant Private Equity and came to market in September, attracting bids from Australian-based global healthcare group Ramsay Healthcare, and Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC).

Morrison & Co will manage the Qscan investment on behalf of Infratil and MGIF.

The proposed deal marks the first major push by Morrison, which is better known for owning windfarms, data centres and telecommunication networks, into the healthcare sector. It also has an investment in RetireAustralia, a retirement village business.