A chain of fertility clinics which operates through a network of 24 sites across the UK and Ireland has secured a new private equity backer.
Care Fertility employs more than 160 embryologists and doctors and has helped in the delivery of in excess of 51,000 babies since it was founded in 1997.
Nordic Capital has agreed to buy Care in an investment made in partnership with the company’s management team. Nordic will support Care’s next phase and international growth ambitions.
The deal provides an exit for private equity firm Silverfleet Capital, generating a 2.6x gross money multiple and an IRR of more than 40 per cent.
Silverfleet acquired a majority stake in Care Fertility in 2019, having identified the positive market dynamics of a rising need for fertility treatment in the developed world and the opportunity to help the business scale to become the clear market leader in the UK; develop its digital technology; and lay the foundations for international expansion.
During Silverfleet’s ownership, Care Fertility opened a new clinic in Liverpool and acquired four further clinics in the UK in Woking, Chester, Tamworth and Leeds. In addition, Silverfleet supported Care Fertility in the acquisition of a specialist software business, Salve, which focuses on improving the patient journey and interaction with clinics.
Gareth Whiley, managing partner of Silverfleet Capital, said: “Care Fertility is a truly high-quality business, and we are delighted to have helped the company achieve what it has under our ownership. We have again demonstrated our skills at executing a high-growth plan through both organic expansion and strategic acquisitions; and our ability to help our portfolio companies undergo significant digital transformation.”
The investment in Care was said to lie at the heart of Nordic Capital’s healthcare investment strategy and focus on responsible investments and will be made as part of its mid-market strategy.
David Burford, chief executive of Care, said: “We strongly believe that Nordic Capital is the best partner for Care on the next step of our journey to helping even more patients. Nordic Capital has an extensive history of successful growth acceleration in leading healthcare services providers and will help us drive the growth of clinics and operations and further enhance our clinical excellence to be able to help more patients.”
He added: “It has been a pleasure to work with the Silverfleet team over this exciting period and to have their help to create the UK’s leading fertility company and invest in the digital future of how we interact with our patients. We now look forward to a bright future with Nordic Capital as we embark on the next stage of our growth, particularly internationally.”
Joakim Lundvall, the partner who leads Nordic Capital Advisors’ mid-market team, said: “Nordic Capital shares Care’s vision and growth ambitions to become a truly international fertility services platform and looks forward to supporting its organic and inorganic growth with experience, expertise and financial strength.”
Silverfleet was advised by Rothschild & Co, Travers Smith, PwC and LEK. The Care management team were advised by Browne Jacobson and Deloitte.
Completion of the transaction is expected to occur in February 2022 and is not subject to further closing conditions.