Update 21 March 2018

Welcome to the newest update on private healthcare in the Netherlands. In this update we cover:

  • Unilabs acquisition of Medlon is finalized after acceptance by authorities. Is this the start of the consolidation of the Dutch diagnostics sector?
  • Careyn, troubled Dutch healthcare conglomerate, sells maternity care business to Naviva. Is this the first step in a further portfolio restructuring for Careyn?
  • Rumors on the street say that Bergman Clinics are preparing themselves for a sale. Is this an interesting target for an international chain of clinics?
  • In our snapshot we give an overview of Zorg voor de Zaak, a privately-owned group of companies providing a wide range of health-care related services.

Unilabs acquisition of Medlon is finalized

In October last year it was announced that Unilabs was to acquire Medlon B.V. This acquisition has now passed its last regulatory hurdle. Medlon came into existence in 2011 through a merger of the clinical laboratories of two hospitals in the eastern part of the Netherlands. Medlon provides diagnostical services to the two hospitals and all local GPs. In addition, Medlon provides thrombosis care. Medlon has 450 employees, all of whom will continue working for the new owner.

The clinical laboratory and diagnostics sector in the Netherlands is very splintered with most hospitals having their own labs. Is this the start of a consolidation of the sector?

Careyn sells maternity care business

Careyn is the result of a merger between several traditional Dutch healthcare organizations. It is now one of the largest providers in the Netherlands, offering a broad range of services ranging from maternity care to elderly care, across a wide geographical range. Careyn has recently been in the news because a number of its elderly care locations were on the “blacklist” of location with a (very) low quality of service published by the Minister in 2017. In addition, the company has been loss-making and has had problems meeting balance sheet targets set by the banks.

Careyn has recently announced the sale of its maternity business (Careyn Kraamzorg) to Naviva Kraamzorg (part of Zorg van de Zaak – see snapshot). All 430 employees of Careyn Kraamzorg will be taken over by Naviva. No financial details related to the deal have been announced.

This is one of the few examples of a traditional Dutch healthcare company (voluntarily) working on portfolio restructuring. If Careyn and other organizations continue this trend, it can provide interesting opportunities for foreign companies looking for entry-points into the Dutch market.

Is Bergman Clinics preparing itself for a sale?

In September 2017 Bergman Clinics announced a merger with NL Clinics resulting in the largest provider of elective surgery in the Netherlands with 43 clinics, 1.500 staff and approximately €220 million in revenues. At the time both shareholders (the Malenstein family and NPM) claimed that they were in the business for the long term and had no intentions of selling.

Current rumors state that the merged company is being prepared for a sale. If this is true, then this would be an interesting target for any potential acquirer looking to build a pan-European chain of clinics. We will keep you posted.

Snapshot of a Dutch private sector healthcare operator: Zorg voor de Zaak

Zorg van de Zaak (Care / Worry of the Business) is a group of companies broadly focusing on work and healthcare related issues. The group consists of twelve companies. Each company has a specific focus on an area such as health and safety for companies, substance abuse, debt assistance, re-integration, psychological help, etc. The group had almost 3.000 employees and a turnover of just under €300 million in 2015 (ex acquisitions since then). The group was started by Marius Touwen in 1990 and is 100% owned by him through Tinguely Holding.

With a number of recent acquisitions Zorg van de Zaak is moving away from its core area of work and healthcare related issues. In 2014 the Red Cross Hospital in Beverwijk was acquired after it almost went bankrupt. In 2017 Zorg van de Zaak acquired Novadic-Kendron the largest Dutch provider of substance abuse services with 900 employees and an annual turnover of €64 million. This month Zorg van de Zaak acquired the maternity care services of Careyn (see earlier message).