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Turkish healthcare takes off as NBGI seals deal

NBGI Private Equity has acquired a Turkish drugs company, the latest in a spate of investments, particularly in healthcare, by firms drawn to the country’s compelling fundamentals.

European mid-market buyout firm NBGI Private Equity has agreed its second deal in Turkey, partnering with emerging markets specialist Ethemba Capital to acquire a controlling stake in pharmaceuticals company the Birgi Mefar Group, which specialises in injectible products.

It is NBGI’s second deal in Turkey, having made its first investment there in February when it acquired a majority stake in oncology care centre operator Sante in a deal valuing the company at about €20 million.

Mete Ikiz, NBGI’s senior team member in Istanbul, said: “The case for investing in Turkey is compelling, particularly in the healthcare market which has seen significant growth in recent years on the back of high economic growth and significant healthcare reform.”

Private equity activity in Turkey is increasing as firms are drawn to the country’s compelling fundamentals, such as its youthful population which has considerable spending power. Other firms to have recently penetrated the market include central and Eastern Europe specialist Mid Europa Partners, which agreed its first Turkish deal last month when it acquired a stake in private hospital operator Kent Hospital Group for just under €100 million.

More importantly, buyout houses have also demonstrated it is possible to realise investments. BC Partners, for example, had cause to celebrate in June following the sale of part of supermarket group Migros Ticaret for $380 million.

NBGI and Ethemba acquired their stake in Istanbul-based Birgi Mefar from Mustafa Sevket Birgi, Mustafa Mehmet Birgi, Ayse Emine Birgi and Maya Holding, according to a statement from NBGI and Ethemba. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Ustun Baharoglu, Birgi Mefar’s chief executive, participated in the buyout and retains both his position and a significant minority interest in the group, according to NBGI and Ethemba.

The two acquirers were advised by CMS Cameron McKenna, Pekin & Bayar Law Firm, PwC and Baker & McKenzie.

Private Equity International will be hosting the annual PEI Turkey Forum in Istanbul on the 20-21 September.