Reuters – Mid Europa Partners Plans to Sell Lux Med

Private equity fund Mid Europa Partners plans to sell healthcare group Lux Med by the end of the year to cash in after building it up into one of Poland’s top providers of medical services, one of the fund’s partners told Reuters. The transaction is likely to attract bids estimated at around 1 billion zlotys ($300 million).

 

(Reuters) – Private equity fund Mid Europa Partners (MEP) plans to sell healthcare group Lux Med by the end of the year to cash in after building it up into one of Poland’s top providers of medical services, one of the fund’s partners told Reuters.

 

“We are preparing to launch the sale of Lux Med and I presume it will start in September,” Zbigniew Rekusz, Mid Europa partner in Warsaw, said. “We wish to sign the final sale agreement this year.”

 

The transaction is likely to attract bids estimated at around 1 billion zlotys ($300 million).

 

Local media has speculated that Poland’s top insurer PZU , Britain’s Bupa, Vienna Insurance Group and Italy’s Generali could be among the bidders for Lux Med, which has more than a million clients and controls 72 medical centres around the country.

 

“We see great interest both among insurers and financial investors, mainly foreign,” Rekusz said, but declined to name the interested parties.

 

“The healthcare sector is very safe, defensive and at the same time it is growing fast, at a double-digit pace.”

 

RETAIL BUYING

 

As part of its effort to expand in the retail market, Mid Europa, with capital commitments totalling around 3.2 billion euros ($4 billion), plans to bid for EKO Holding, operator of a chain of small grocery stores.

 

“Such an acquisition would be in line with our strategy of consolidating the retail market,” Rekusz said.

 

Mid Europa already controls Zabka, one of Poland’s largest retail chains with over 2,500 stores it bought for about 400 million euros last year.

 

EKO Holding, which has a market capitalisation of $71 million, aims to raise its sales to 1.7 billion zlotys this year and increase the number of outlets to 320-340 from 299.

 

Local newspapers have reported that private equity group Advent International may also be interested in EKO Holding. (By Agnieszka Barteczko and Adrian Krajewski)