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Mid Europa invests in Romanian healthcare

The firm’s acquisition of Centrul Medical Unirea is its second in Romania.

Mid Europa has invested more than €100 million from its fourth fund to acquire Romanian health care company Centrul Medical Unirea (Regina Maria).

“We have been looking at healthcare in Romania for some time and we believe this is the ideal platform for sector consolidation and organic growth,” Mid Europa partner Nikolaus Bethlen told Private Equity International.

The healthcare operator, which runs 24 clinics, four hospitals, 13 laboratories and six imaging facilities is the second largest in Romania and the firm plans to grow it to be the market leader, Bethlen said. This includes establishing new locations and growing its subscriber base.

The investment is the second in Romania for the buyout firm that focuses on central and eastern Europe and Turkey. “This is the first investment [in the country] in many years. We didn’t find it more or less difficult than any other jurisdiction,” Bethlen said, referencing the market for mergers and acquisitions and competition authority.

In 2003, the firm's first fund acquired a stake in Romanian telecommunications company MobiFon, which it sold two years later.

Mid Europa typically targets companies with an enterprise value of €100-500 million in which it can invest €75-100 million, according to its website.

Mid Europa Fund IV closed in August 2014 at €800 million. In February it acquired Danube Foods Group, which is based in the former Yugoslavia, and call centre business ISS Turkey-CMC in August.

The firm still has “quite a few” investments remaining in its third fund, Bethlen said.

Mid Europe Fund III is a €1.53 billion, 2007-vintage vehicle.

The firm’s previous healthcare investments include Alpha Medical in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, Polish laboratory chain Diagnostyka, Turkey’s Kent Hospital Group and central European dietary supplements maker Walmark. “It’s one of our core sectors,” Bethlen said.