European mid-market player NBGI has become the latest firm to take on Turkey’s emerging private equity market. The firm is expected to announce its first direct investment in the country on Friday, having acquired a majority stake in Sante, an operator of oncology therapy centres. Financial details are not being disclosed, but the deal is understood to value Sante at up to €20 million.
The firm is also understood to be close to unveiling a second investment in the country, although details are not known.
Sante currently accounts for a quarter of the private oncology market in Turkey and NGBI plans to scale the business up through a buy-and-build approach.
While these will be the firm’s first direct investments in the Turkey, NGBI has gained exposure to the market by managing investments in certain domestic Turkish GPs over the last decade. However, in recent years the group has shift entirely to direct investments.
NBGI has a number of lower mid-market funds investing various regions across Europe with a total of €900 million in committed capital. In 2008 the bank allocated €100 million for direct investment in Turkey.
The Turkish activity is spearheaded by Mete Ikiz, a Turkish national and investment banking veteran, from an office in Istanbul and is overseen by Yannis Voyatzis, who runs NGBI’s private equity activity across Southern Europe from its headquarters in London.
Private equity firms’ interest in Turkey has been growing over the last few years, with experienced local players, such as Turkven Private Equity and Actera, being joined by international players like BC Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and The Riverside Company in acquiring Turkish businesses.