Fer­til­ity chain’s pro­mot­ers likely to sell stake for around $15 m

The Economic Times - - Companies: Pursuit Of Profit - Sneha.Shah @times­group.com

Mum­bai: Health­care-fo­cused funds Quadria Cap­i­tal, Asian Health­care Fund and Tata Health­care Fund are in talks with the pro­mot­ers of fer­til­ity chain Mor­pheus IVF, which wants to sell a sig­nif­i­cant mi­nor­ity stake for around $15 mil­lion, said three peo­ple with di­rect knowl­edge of the de­vel­op­ment. “The com­pany is look­ing to raise growth cap­i­tal for open­ing up new cen­ters,” one of the per­sons said.

IVF in­ter­na­tional, a Ger­man com­pany, is the pri­mary pro­moter of Mor­pheus IVF. “The pro­mot­ers are look­ing to sell a sig­nif­i­cant mi­nor­ity stake. They are in talks with a few global strate­gic part­ners as well as health­care-fo­cused PE funds in the coun­try,” said an­other per­son in­volved in the deal. The com­pany has held talk with funds such as Quadria Cap­i­tal, Tata Health­care Fund, Asian Health­care Fund, among oth­ers, sources said. The com­pany has ap­pointed in­vest­ment bank 7i Cap­i­tal to look for buyers.

Email queries sent to the spokesper­sons for the com­pany and the funds did not elicit any re­sponse till the time of go­ing to press.

Mor­pheus is the first and largest chain of Indo-Ger­man fer­til­ity cen­tres. The 30-plus chain of cen­tres works on a part­ner­ship model where it fi­nan­cially part­ners with lo­cal spe­cial­ists whereby lever­ag­ing on their in­di­vid­ual brand and shar­ing the set-up cost.

“Un­like its many peers, the com­pany has man­aged to keep its busi­ness model as­set light where capex re­quire­ment is low,” an­other per­son said.

The IVF mar­ket in In­dia, although at a nascent stage, is grow­ing at 20% an­nu­ally. The .₹ 1,000-crore mar­ket sees around1lakh em­bryo trans­fer cy­cles an­nu­ally. The av­er­age cost of each trans­fer cy­cle is about .₹ 1 lakh.

“The in­creas­ing cus­tomer aware­ness and the changing life­style lead­ing to fer­til­ity re­lated is­sues in new-age cou­ples is go­ing to aid the growth of the sec­tor, go­ing for­ward,” the third per­son said.

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