World Bank’s IFC Said to Seek Buyer for Turkish Hospitals

An investor group that includes the World Bank’s International Finance Corp. plans to sell its 26 percent stake in Turkish hospital chain Universal Saglik Yatirimlari Holding AS, two people familiar with the plan said.

The group, which includes ADM Capital, a buyout firm based in Hong Kong, and PGGM NV, a Dutch pension fund manager, are having informal talks with potential buyers, said the people, who declined to be identified because the discussions are private. They paid $140 million for their stake in the Istanbul-based company in 2011.

Azmi Ofluoglu, the chairman of Universal who holds the remaining stake, may also decide to sell a part of his interest, one of the people said. The sellers hired Daruma Corporate Finance, an Istanbul-based investment bank, to advise on the possible stake sale, the person said.

The IFC has invested about $32 million in Universal since 2011 and holds 4.6 percent of the company, said Lotte Pang, a spokeswoman for the agency. The IFC usually exits equity investments after a certain period, and it remains committed to Turkey’s health-care sector, she said.

Esat Erkus, chief executive officer of Universal, and Ofluoglu didn’t return calls seeking comment. ADM Capital didn’t make an official available for comment. A spokesman for PGGM could not immediately comment.

Universal runs 11 hospitals in 7 cities in Turkey, according to its website. When the three investors bought a stake in Universal almost two years ago, it operated 18 hospitals.

ADM invested in Universal through its recovery fund for Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Turkey, which focuses on turning around “operationally strong but financially distressed companies.”