Former CVS Caremark Chairman Mac Crawford has launched a health care turnaround firm.
Crawford and Wilbur L. Ross Jr., CEO of New York private equity firm WL Ross & Co., have created Crawford-Ross, a joint venture designed to co-invest in and restructure health care companies, particularly those challenged by industry changes created through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Ross said his firm — which has sponsored more than $10 billion in private equity transactions in its 10 years — is prepared to "invest more than $1 billion" to support Crawford and his team as the venture works to build a major position in the health care industry.
"Given [Crawford’s] track record in successfully restructuring and operating health care businesses, he is the executive best positioned to find and capitalize on opportunities created by the turmoil caused by the recent health care legislation," Ross said.
Crawford led then Nashville-based Caremark as CEO before its acquisition by CVS Corp., growing the business from its roots a debt-heavy physician practice management company Med Partners to a $37 billion pharmacy benefits management firm.
After leaving his post on the CVS Caremark board, Crawford formed Brentwood-based turnaround and advisory firm CrawfordSpalding  with his son Drew and Caremark’s former executive vice president of strategy, Bill Spalding. A spokesman for Crawford said he will continue to be based in Nashville, spending most of his time with Crawford-Ross but staying involved with CrawfordSpalding.
In a statement, Crawford said he and his team are "excited to join forces with such a distinguished private equity firm at this pivotal time for the health care industry."
"The pending structural changes in the industry will create new winners and losers, and I am eager to play a major role in adapting to this challenging environment," Crawford said.
Ross, in a conversation with NashvillePost.com Wednesday afternoon, said the new venture will focus primarily on health care services and distribution companies. "Health care is 60 percent of the economy," he said, "so there should be large opportunities."