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KKR-backed BrightSpring valued at $2.5 billion on lukewarm debut (Jan 26)

(This Jan. 26 story has been corrected to fix valuation at debut to say $2.5 billion, not $2.05 billion, in the headline and in paragraph 1)

(Reuters) - Shares of BrightSpring Health Services, backed by private equity giant KKR, slipped 7.7% on their market debut on Friday, giving the community-based healthcare services firm a market capitalization of $2.5 billion.

The company debuted at $12 per share, below its initial public offering price (IPO) of $13 apiece.

It raised $633 million by selling about 53.3 million shares on Thursday.

The lukewarm debut follows a similar reception for Morgan Stanley Direct Lending Fund and Kazakhstan-based banking and fintech giant Kaspi.kz, underscoring investor caution around new listings.

Yet, shares of cancer drug developer CG Oncology surged on their debut on Thursday. Moderna-backed Metagenomi is another healthcare firm that is gearing up for a listing this year.

Social media firm Reddit, cloud security company Rubrik and software startup ServiceTitan are all expected to go public in 2024.

BrightSpring was sold to KKR in a $1.32-billion deal in 2019, with an affiliate of drugstore chain operator Walgreens Boots Alliance taking a minority stake.

The company had previously pursued a listing in 2021, but hostile market conditions forced it to abort its IPO plans in November 2022.

BrightSpring provides home health, rehab and hospice care to patients who often require frequent services over long periods of time. It also has 180 pharmacies across the United States.

(Reporting by Jaiveer Singh Shekhawat in Bengaluru. Editing by Pooja Desai and Shilpi Majumdar)