By Birsen Altayli and Seda Sezer
ISTANBUL, April 22 London-based private equity
fund Pamplona Capital Management is in exclusive talks to buy a
majority stake in Turkish hospitals group Medical Park, a source
close to the matter told Reuters on Monday.
Carlyle Group, the U.S. private equity firm, acquired
a 40 percent stake in Medical Park in 2009 for an undisclosed
amount alongside Turkish businessmen Muharrem Usta and Haydar
Sancak, who each own 30 percent.
Pamplona is backed by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's
Alfa Group, which was a cornerstone investor of the private
equity fund when it was established in 2005.
"It will take a couple of months to complete the talks," the
source said. "In these talks it will become clear how much each
will sell," the source said.
Private equity investors favour Turkey's fast growing
services industries, including healthcare and education,
attracted by a near tripling in nominal per capita GDP over the
past decade and a population of 76 million.
The private healthcare sector is growing rapidly, with more
people taking out private health insurance and state hospitals
stretched. In February, parliament passed new regulations aimed
at making private investment easier.
Sources said the existing three shareholders may all retain
stakes in Medical Park if the sale goes ahead.
Medical Park runs 19 hospitals and medical centres across
Turkey and has around 9,000 employees, according to its website.
Pamplona and Carlyle declined to comment.
Carlyle and the other two shareholders said in September
Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse had been appointed to look into
a possible sale or listing of the hospitals group.
People familiar with the situation told Reuters last month
that Medical Park's owners, led by Carlyle, were considering a
sale or public offering.
The hospital group's chairman said in December a planned
stake sale might be completed in the first half of 2013.