Advent International has purchased a stake in Polish cardiovascular treatment company American Heart of Poland, its 12th deal in a country that has been touted as an excellent market for private equity.
The firm did not disclose financial details of the transaction. American Heart of Poland focuses on increasing the efficiency of treatment for patients with heart-related medical problems and has 19 clinics in Poland.
The deal marks Advent’s 12 Polish investment, and its 36th in the Central and Eastern Europe region, a “preferred destination in the European neighborhood for numerous sectoral investors,” according to a report from the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association released in July. Poland was “hailed as a ‘green island’”, the report said, for being “the only European country not having fallen into a recession”.
While the €1.3 billion invested in the CEE region in 2010 represented a drop from the more than €2 billion invested in each of the three previous years, Poland accounted for about 51 percent of the total amount invested last year, according to the EVCA. Despite the decrease in dollars invested, the number of companies receiving private equity backing in 2010 rose about 30 percent, from 125 to 160.
Healthcare has proven an attractive sector for private equity investment in Poland in recent years, attracting roughly 21 percent of investments in the country since 2009, according to data provider Dealogic.
Advent, which has invested in more than 30 healthcare companies globally since 1974, acquired a controlling stake in ISIDA, a medical treatment and healthcare provider in the Ukraine, in March. Previous Advent healthcare services investments in the CEE region include German businesses Median, a rehabilitation care provider, and nursing home group Casa Reha.
During a panel discussion at the EVCA Mid-Market Forum in Budapest Wednesday, speakers hailed Central and Eastern Europe as a top performer in the region economically, with particular reference to Poland. Thierry Baudon, founding partner of CEE-specialist Mid Europa Partners, said: “You’d have to look hard to find a better macro situation than Poland.”
Against the bleak backdrop of a struggling Western Europe detailed by other panelists, Baudon said that due to strong growth, improving risk/return profiles, lower tax rates and more fluidity in markets, CEE was a good place to invest.