Mercapital pumps €275m into gas

Mercapital, a Spanish mid-market manager, has acquired a majority stake in Spanish medical gas and respiratory home therapy provider Gasmedi in a transaction valued at €275m.

Mercapital, a Spanish mid-market private equity firm, has acquired a 75 percent stake alongside management in Gasmedi, a Spanish medical gas provider, in a €275 million ($350 million) transaction.

The Fierro March family, current owners of Gasmedi, have reinvested in the transaction taking the remaining 25 percent.

Mercapital was advised by Quantica, CMS Albiñana y Suárez  de  Lezo, Bain & Company and KPMG. Debt for the transaction was provided by Calyon and HypoVereinsbank.

Mercapital is currently investing its Mercapital Spanish Private Equity Fund II (SPEF II), which raised €600 million in January 2001.

Gasmedi, founded in 1996 and based in Madrid, provides medical gases to hospitals and homes in Spain. According to Mercapital, the company will provide ‘respiratory home therapies’ to over 65,000 patients and supply gas to over 30 hospitals in 2006 and will generate an EBITDA of approximately €30 million.

The size of the Spanish gas market, including industrial and medical gases, said Mercapital, is over €900 million and Gasmedi has a 21 percent share of the ‘respiratory home therapy’ segment, which is traditionally dominated by multinationals such as Air Liquide, Praxair and Linde.

Mercapital’s most recent investments in the Spanish healthcare sector include the €216 million management buyout of USP Hospitales, a private hospital network, in July 2004; and the acquisition of a minority stake in hospital group Quirón for €30 million in July 2001.

Gasmedi is Mercapital’s first investment in 2006. Last September, the firm acquired animal feed producer and distributor Saprogal in a €155 million buyout from The Carlyle Group.

Mercapital was not available for comment.