UK equity firm in talks to buy hospitals group

UK equity firm in talks to buy hospitals group

ISTANBUL - Reuters
UK equity firm in talks to buy hospitals group

London-based private equity fund Pamplona is in exclusive talks to buy a majority stake in Turkish hospitals group Medical Park, according to sources.

Turkey’s largest hospital chain Medical Park said it has signed an exclusivity agreement with the United Kingdom-based private equity firm Pamplona Capital for the sale of majority stakes.

Medical Park founder Muharrem Usta, who also holds 30 percent of the firm shares, confirmed the sale talks and said the negotiations are continuing, Wall Street Journal reported on April 21. The United States-based asset manager Carlyle purchased 40 percent shares of the hospitals giant in 2009. While Turkish Sancak Family owns 30 percent, Muharrem Usta owns the remaining 30 percent.

Medical Park was in talks with Texas Pacific Group (TPG) represented by Turkish businessman and former politician Cüneyt Zapsu.

The negotiations might take around two months, a source close to the matter told Reuters yesterday.

Pamplona Capital will acquire majority stakes but the current partners of the company will keep a small part of their shares and the company will evolve into a four-partnered structure, the sector sources say.

Medical Park is the largest hospital chain in Turkey, operating 16 hospitals with a bed capacity of 3,500.

The private healthcare sector is growing rapidly, with more people taking out private health insurance and state hospitals stretched. In February, parliament passed new regulations aimed at making private investment easier.