Albania’s largest private hospital acquires key Greek rival

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 24, 2018 15:28

Albania’s largest private hospital acquires key Greek rival

TIRANA, Aug. 24 – Albania’s largest private hospital has consolidated its position in the Albanian private healthcare system by fully acquiring its key rival.

Greece-based Hygeia Group says it has sold its loss-making Albania unit to the American Hospital of Albania after almost a decade of accumulated debts.

The sale operation comes eight years after Hygeia launched its Tirana hospital, a €60 million initial investment facility offering all kind of medical and surgery services.

The Hygeia Group says the sale was concluded for €1 million, with the buyer having committed to pay off about €30 million in long-term loans that Hygeia Hospital Tirana owed to banks and other Hygeia subsidiaries.

“The Buyer assumes the liabilities of Hygeia Hospital Tirana amounting to 29.5 million euros in total (including the long-term borrowings amounting to approximately 19 million euros, as well as liabilities to Hygeia Group companies, amounting to approximately 2.5 million euros),” Hygeia says in a statement adding that the sale will serve the Athens-based group to reduce its bank borrowings.

Hygeia, which has been operating in the Greek private health sector for about four decades, owned three hospitals in Greece before launching its fourth Tirana hospital in 2010.

Hygeia is the third major Greek business to leave Albania this year after the sale of two Greek bank units earlier this year which is expected to significantly cut the stock of Greek foreign direct investment in the country this year.

The host of about half a million Albanian migrants, Greece has been the top investor in Albania with an investment stock of €1.3 billion in early 2018. Greece is also the traditional second largest partner of Albania, but trade links between the two countries sharply reduced during Greece’s 8-year recession ending in 2016 that saw its economy lose about a quarter of the GDP.

The merger makes the American Hospital in Albania, already leading the private health sector, much stronger.

The American Hospital, owned by a Netherlands-based company and run by an Albanian administrator, already owns six hospital in Tirana, Durres and Fier, Albania’s three largest cities, as well as in Kosovo. The hospital also has a minority stake in a 10-year hemodialysis concession assisting patients with kidney failure in Albania’s main public hospitals until 2026.

Albanians are estimated to spend about €60 million annually in private hospitals and clinics whose number has significantly increased in the past decade.

Albania’s public health sector is perceived as one of the most corrupt and inefficient sectors, with patients often choosing to get treated at private hospitals in the country or go abroad.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 24, 2018 15:28