March 5, 2018 / 10:41 AM / a year ago

Attendo may sell Finnish healthcare operations ahead of government reform

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Nordic health care company Attendo said on Monday it had started to evaluate options, including a potential divestment, for its Finnish healthcare and dental care business ahead of major reforms in the sector.

Attendo’s primary care, specialist care and dental clinics in Finland had sales of 234 million euros ($288 million) last year. The assessment will be carried out during the first half of the year.

“(The) business is very well positioned to benefit from the increased focus on freedom of choice coming in the Finnish healthcare market,” Attendo said in a statement.

Attendo is the largest private provider of care for older people in Sweden and Finland, and has seen strong growth in that business over the past decade.

The healthcare and local government reform is a cornerstone of the centre-right government’s plan to balance Finland’s public finances in the face of fast-ageing population.

Among other things, the bill is aimed to boost competition between public and private healthcare providers by opening up more opportunities to the private sector.

Attendo, Mehilainen, Terveystalo and Pihlajalinna have stepped up acquisitions and other growth initiatives in Finland ahead of the reform.

Attendo said it had appointed Danske Bank as financial adviser to assist in the evaluation.

Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl, editing by Johannes Hellstrom

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