GBL makes its first major investment in the healthcare sector with the acquisition of Affidea, European leader in medical diagnostics


20/04/2022

The Hague, The Netherlands, April 20, 2022. Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL) has signed definitive agreements to acquire a majority stake in Affidea, a European leader in medical diagnostic services from B-FLEXION. GBL will invest up to €1 billion in equity for this transaction. Affidea's majority shareholder, B-FLEXION, will sell its entire stake and management will reinvest alongside GBL. This investment in a defensive sector offers GBL resilience as well as portfolio diversification.

Founded in 1991, Affidea is the leading diagnostic imaging company in Europe, with more than 300 centers in operation in 15 countries. Affidea has expanded its offering across the entire value chain, providing an integrated offering in advanced diagnostics, outpatient and cancer care services with exceptional quality and value of care.

Providing accurate diagnostics is paramount to providing appropriate treatment. GBL will support Affidea in the development of high quality medical services in the interest of all its stakeholders: patients, physicians and regulators. Together with management, GBL plans to further strengthen Affidea's leadership in its core markets and accelerate mergers and acquisitions in attractive and fragmented new markets in Europe.

This transaction marks GBL's first major private investment in the healthcare sector. GBL has expressed a strong interest in this sector, given its resilience to economic cycles and its underlying long-term growth trends. The acquisition also corresponds to GBL's ambition to increase the proportion of private assets within its portfolio. The group's long-term goal is for private and alternative assets to represent approximately 40% of its portfolio. They represented 25% of the portfolio at the end of 2021.

Ian Gallienne, CEO of GBL, stated, "Following recent investments in Webhelp, Canyon and Voodoo, Affidea is a continuation of GBL's strategy to increase its exposure to majority-owned private companies operating in growth markets and backed by attractive secular trends. Together with Affidea's management, we look forward to contributing to the company's success."

Michal Chalaczkiewicz, Investment Partner at GBL, added: "Affidea offers GBL exposure to very attractive vertical and geographic sectors in healthcare. We are delighted to become the custodian of the business in its next stage of development. In collaboration with management, we will strive to accelerate organic growth, M&A and digital health programs."

Giuseppe Recchi, CEO of Affidea, commented, "I am grateful to B-FLEXION for its investment in and support of the company since the beginning of its ownership in 2014 and since my appointment as CEO in 2018. We have built a world-renowned organization, nearly doubling the size of the business in the last 4 years and paving the way for new avenues of growth. I am pleased to have GBL as a partner, given their deep understanding of our business and long-term investment horizon."

Stefan Meister, Vice President of B-FLEXION, added: "It has been a privilege to work with Giuseppe and the entire Affidea team and we are proud to have contributed to the company's incredible success over almost ten years of ownership. The GBL team has impressed us with their ability to support high quality businesses. We are delighted to transition Affidea to GBL for the next phase of the company's growth."

GBL has been advised by Citi, Bain & Company, EY and Kirkland & Ellis.

The transaction is expected to complete in the third quarter of 2022.

About Affidea

Affidea is Europe's leading provider of advanced diagnostic imaging, outpatient and oncology services. Founded in 1991, the company operates 320 centers in 15 countries and provides quality medical services to more than 10 million patients each year. Affidea has a long track record and has successfully acquired and integrated more than 90 centers in the last three years. Thanks to its track record in patient safety, the company has become the most awarded provider of diagnostic imaging services in Europe by the European Society of Radiology: more than 50% of the centers awarded in the Eurosafe Wall of Stars belong to Affidea.

About B-FLEXION

B-FLEXION is a private entrepreneurial investment firm that partners with sophisticated capital to achieve the common goal of creating exceptional value over several generations, while contributing positively to society. Chaired by Ernesto Bertarelli and with offices in Europe and the United States, B-FLEXION founds, acquires and develops asset management partnerships, primarily in the private equity, venture capital, infrastructure, technology, real estate, hedge funds, public and private credit and public debt sectors. In addition to these partnerships, B-FLEXION also makes direct investments in operating companies active in transformative industries, with a focus on health, planet and technology.

About Groupe Bruxelles Lambert

Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL) is an established investment holding company, listed on the stock exchange for over sixty years, a net asset value of €22.5 billion and a market capitalization of €15.3 billion at the end of December 2021. GBL is a leading investor in Europe, focused on long-term value creation and with a stable and consolidated family shareholder base. As a responsible company and investor, GBL believes that ESG factors are inextricably linked to value creation.

GBL strives to hold a high quality diversified portfolio of listed and private assets, as well as alternative investments (through Sienna Investment Managers, the group's alternative investment platform) comprised of international companies, leaders in their respective sectors, with which it can contribute to value creation as a professional, active and supportive investor.

GBL focuses on generating significant growth by providing attractive returns to its shareholders, through a combination of growth in its net asset value, a sustainable dividend and share buybacks.

GBL is listed on Euronext Brussels (Ticker: GBLB BB; ISIN code: BE0003797140) and is part of the BEL20 index.

About Affidea in Spain

Affidea, established in Spain since 2017, has centers in Catalonia, Madrid, Murcia, Castilla y León, Comunidad Valenciana, Castilla La Mancha and Asturias, and 730 professionals, serving a total of more than 390,000 patients each year. More information at www.affidea.es

Media contact: Elena Ayuso - 656 321 906 - elena.ayuso@affidea.com