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EBRD to sell its 30% stake in HospInvest – paper

  The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is preparing to sell its 30% stake in privately owned Hungarian hospital operator HospInvest, the daily newspaper Népszabadság reported on Tuesday.

The director of EBRD’s Hungarian office did not wish comment the information to the paper. The EBRD purchased its stake in HospInvest, the bank’s first investment in the healthcare sector, for €4 million (HUF 1.22 billion at current value) in 2007.

The EBRD is willing to sell its 120-150 shares in HospInvest at their nominal value of HUF 1 million per share, or at a sizable loss, according to the newspaper. The EBRD indicated when it purchased its stake in HospInvest that it intended to retain its stake in the hospital operator for a period of five to seven years.

The newspaper wrote that it has learned that another HospInvest investor, Ispotaly Holding, may also be preparing to sell its shares in the hospital operator. Gábor Kollányi, one of Hospinvest’s Hungarian owners told the daily that they were in talks on changes in the ownership structure, including the involvement of a new investor, but said it was too early to reveal details.

Népszabadság noted that the privatization of hospital operations by HospInvest has involved scandals, noting the case of a hospital in Eger (northeast Hungary) where unplanned severance payments required extra contribution from Hospinvest owners. (MTI-Econews)