Linklaters and White & Case have landed the lead mandates as Bupa makes its first foray into the Polish healthcare market by acquiring the country’s largest healthcare provider LuxMed Group from Mid Europa Partners for €400m (£326m).
White & Case acted for for Bupa, with a team led by corporate partners Rob Irving in Budapest, John Cunningham in London and Marcin Studniarek in Warsaw. Local partner Aneta Hajska and associates Joanna Danilowicz and Jaroslaw Czernek provided additional advice from Warsaw and London respectively.
Bupa group legal director Paul Newton also advised on the transaction.
Linklaters advised buyout investor Mid Europa, which focuses on growth markets across central and eastern Europe (CEE) and Turkey. CEE private equity head Tomasz Zorawski and corporate associate Klaudia Krolak led from Warsaw.
The transaction is expected to close in the next couple of months subject to approval from Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection. The deal also requires the approval of Sweden’s Financial Supervisory Authority as LuxMed owns an insurance company in Sweden that provides health insurance in Poland.
Studniarek commented: “The entry of Bupa into the Polish healthcare market is a testament to the stability of the regulatory and political environment in Poland. We believe that this is a bellwether for further investment by blue-chip multinationals looking to tap the Polish growth story.”
Background to this deal:
Linklaters is one of several magic circle firms that have advised Mid Europa on M&A deals in recent years. In 2008 the firm advised the buyout investor on three separate leveraged buyouts of private healthcare providers in the Polish healthcare market. In 2010 it represented Mid Europa when it sold Polish national cable television operator Aster to UPC Polska, an affiliate of international cable company Liberty Global.
White & Case is understood to have acted for both Bupa and Mid Europa in the past.
The healthcare giant runs a panel review for at least one of its legal groups every year (14 March 2011). It is unclear if White & Case currently holds a place on a panel.
For more on Bupa’s in-house legal team, see our interview with group legal director Paul Newton