HgCapital in mail-order pharmacy deal

The European private equity firm has acquired a 46 percent stake in a Dutch mail-order pharmacy company from 3i and other shareholders.

London-headquartered private equity firm HgCapital has bought a 46 percent stake in DocMorris, a Dutch mail-order pharmacy company for an undisclosed sum.

The stake was sold to HgCapital by a consortium of shareholders, including London-listed private equity firm 3i and DocMorris founder, Dr Neuhaus.

As a result of the transaction, 3i will retain an 8 percent stake in the company and Neuhaus will retain 15 percent, with the remainder being split between a number of unnamed investors. The transaction is subject to merger clearance and is expected to complete in November 2004.

The Dutch company, which has offices in Germany, was founded in 2000 and is one of the largest pharmacies servicing the German market, providing orders by mail, fax, telephone and online.

Commenting on the transaction, Lindsay Dibden, head of HgCapital’s healthcare team, said: This is HgCapital’s second investment within the German healthcare market and the fifth in Germany over the last two years. The company is well-positioned to capture a significant share of the fast-growing pharmaceutical mail-order market.”

HgCapital, which was part of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers in London until a management-led buyout in December 2000, currently manages some €1.3 billion on behalf of more than 200 institutional investors. In September, Hg promoted Martin Block, Karsten Hartmann and Justin von Simson in its Frankfurt office.