Palamon completes roll-over investment in Ober Scharrer Gruppe alongside Nordic Capital

Palamon Capital Partners (“Palamon” or the “Firm”) has completed a roll-over investment, alongside core Palamon investors Adams Street Partners and PGGM, in Ober Scharrer Gruppe (“The Company”) following the sale of the Company by Palamon to majority owner Nordic Capital Fund IX in 2018. 

Palamon originally acquired a majority share in Ober Scharrer Gruppe from its two physician founders in 2011 having identified the opportunity created by deregulation and the subsequent corporatisation of healthcare delivery in Germany.  Palamon executed a substantial transformation programme to institutionalise the business and accelerate its growth through M&A. Under Palamon’s ownership, the Company unlocked the sizeable consolidation opportunity in the fragmented ophthalmology market generating a 3.6x investment return through its sale to Nordic Capital.

Today, Ober Scharrer Gruppe is the largest ophthalmology group in Germany with more than 85 locations and delivering over 120,000 treatments per year.  Key group services include cataract operations, innovative treatments such as Intravitreal Operative Drug Application (IVOM) for degenerative eye disorders, as well as non-invasive eye treatments and the diagnosis of eye disorders.  The Company is ideally positioned as the largest player with the strongest clinical proposition and acquisition capabilities.

Louis Elson, Managing Partner of Palamon Capital Partners, said, “Our confidence in Nordic Capital’s stewardship over the next phase of development is the basis on which Palamon will complete its first roll-over investment.  We know well the path Ober Scharrer Gruppe is on and coupled with an exceptional management team, we are truly excited about its prospects going forward.”

Alex Peters, Principal of Palamon Capital Partners, commented “Germany is an important market for Palamon and one in which we have a very strong track record and continue to find interesting growth opportunities in which to invest.  We are delighted to be invested alongside Nordic Capital in this market-leading company, which is a testament to the transformational power of the Palamon ownership programme.”

Palamon consistently develops high-growth, market-leading companies that are at the forefront of long-term secular trends and are prized by financial sponsors for their institutional capabilities and ability to continue delivering outsized returns.  Over its 20-year history, Palamon has sold numerous companies to private equity, nearly all of which have produced significant gains for successor owners. 

TeamSystem, acquired by Palamon for €67 million as a primary buyout in 2000, is now on its quaternary stage of private equity ownership and was acquired by Hellman & Friedman in a reported €1.2 billion transaction in 2015.  Nordax Bank, which was delisted in 2018 at a market cap of €623 million was originally sourced by Palamon in 2004 investing €23 million in a primary transaction and sold to a private equity buyer in 2010.  Prospitalia was acquired by Palamon in 2007 for €95 million and is on its third stage of private equity ownership.  Both Nordax Bank and Prospitalia are today owned by Nordic Capital.