When private investment fund CVC Capital Partners started talks about possible investments in Greece in 2016, hardly anyone could have imagined that in less than five years its portfolio in Greece would exceed half a billion euros – which may soon top €1 billion.
Managing a huge amount of funds, CVC sought opportunities for returns around the globe, and the Greek healthcare sector captured its attention. Today, after the acquisition – with some Greek partners – of most Greek private hospitals and other healthcare firms (Metropolitan, Hygeia, Mitera, Iaso General, Lito, Creta InterClinic, AlfaLab, Y-Logimed and Business Care), it is now discussing the acquisition of Ethniki Insurance from National Bank of Greece and of the Vivartia food group from Margin Investment Group (MIG). It has also obtained holdings in marinas through the acquisition of a Turkish company, and a 49% stake in online retail company Skroutz.gr.
If talks on the buyout of Ethniki and Vivartia bear fruit, Luxembourg-based CVC – whose background lies in US investment company Citicorp – will become one of the biggest foreign investors in the country, alongside PSP Investments, Eldorado Gold, Fraport and Cosco.
Last Wednesday, CVC submitted a binding offer to MIG for the entirety of its stake in Vivartia, almost two years after MIG sold CVC a 70.38% stake in the Hygeia group for €204.4 million. The MIG board convened on Thursday and decided to begin exclusive negotiations with CVC, targeting November 6 as a decision date. Kathimerini understands that CVC’s financial proposal for Vivartia is particularly attractive, given the impact from the pandemic on the company’s activity.
With this move CVC demonstrates that it is consistent in its strategy for increasing its exposure in Greece, mainly in non-cyclical consumer goods and services, according to market sources.
The Vivartia food company was founded as BrandCo after the merger of Delta with Chipita and Geniki Trofimon in 2005. The merged corporation became the biggest food group in Greece, and today, among other sectors, it currently controls 25% of the dairy market and absorbs as much of local production. After the departure of Chipita, Vivartia’s main subsidiaries are Delta, Barba Stathis, Goody’s, Flocafé and Everest.