3i, HgCapital and Neuhaus Partners sell DocMorris to Celesio

26 Apr 2007

European private equity companies 3i and HgCapital along with venture-capital investor Neuhaus Partners are selling their stakes in mail-order pharmacy DocMorris, domiciled in Heerlen in the Netherlands. The buyer is Celesio AG, Europe’s largest pharmaceutical distributor, which will become the majority shareholder in DocMorris. The company’s management will continue to hold a stake of just under 10 per cent in DocMorris. The transaction is expected to close at the end of May. The purchase price is being kept confidential.

In recent years, the financial investors together with the DocMorris management team have made focused investments to accelerate the company’s growth. In particular, they supported DocMorris in expanding its business model from a pure mail-order business to include pharmacy business. Today, DocMorris has around 850,000 mail order customers. The company, which has 330 employees achieved a 16 per cent rise in sales last year to €172 million; further strong growth in 2007 is expected. Thus, within the space of only seven years since start-up, DocMorris has become an established player in the pharmaceutical sector.

Achim Lederle, Partner at 3i Germany, comments: 
“We are very happy that DocMorris will continue its outstanding development with Celesio as the new partner. In the years of our involvement, we made certain our network was at the disposal of the DocMorris management and, as an active supervisory board member, we set the strategic course. DocMorris played an important role in the restructuring of the pharmaceutical market, and in so doing advanced the development of an entire sector.”

Philipp Schwalber of HgCapital explains: 
“DocMorris was a highly successful investment for HgCapital. In recent years the company has performed superbly and achieved all its targets. DocMorris has established an excellent launch pad for itself ready for the forthcoming deregulation of the German pharmaceutical market. With Celesio as a strong strategic partner at its side, the company has bright prospects, and the course for the future is set.”

Gottfried Neuhaus of Neuhaus Partners says: 
“As a founding investor we have been actively involved in DocMorris’ history from its beginnings through to today. We are pleased that in Celesio we have found a buyer who will provide the next boost to DocMorris growth and together with the outstanding management team will continue the company’s success story.”

About 3i

3i is a leading global private equity company for majority and minority holdings in medium-sized companies. In addition to furnishing equity, 3i also offers its portfolio companies wide-ranging know-how and access to the broad international 3i network. Alongside its core business, namely medium-sized buyouts, growth and infrastructure financing, 3i is also active in the venture capital market, with selective start-up and seed capital financing. 3i sees itself as the partner of the portfolio companies and focuses its activities on the partners’ mutual success. 3i is represented in 14 countries on three continents (Europe, Asia and North America). Last business year, the 3i Group invested about € 1.4 billion. For further details, go to www.3i.com

For further information please contact:

Rachel Richards
email. rachel.richards@3i.com
tel.  +44 207 975 3573