Fertility Clinic Virtus Seeks Expansion in Asia, Deals After IPO

Virtus Health Pty is planning an Asia-Pacific and Middle East expansion as well as seeking acquisitions after an initial public offering said to have raised A$338 million ($329 million), Australia’s largest share sale this year.

Australia’s biggest provider of fertility services will “look for acquisitions,” Virtus Chief Executive Officer Sue Channon said yesterday on the Financial Review program on Channel 9. “The other area of growth for us will be an international expansion. The Asia-Pacific, China, India and Middle East markets are very immature and highly fragmented.”

Virtus, part-owned by buyout firm Quadrant Private Equity Pty before the IPO, sold shares at A$5.68 each, two people with knowledge of the matter said last week. The offering raised more than Sydney-based Virtus initially expected after Quadrant sold its entire stake in the company, while the holdings of the company’s doctors were cut in half to about 23 percent, the people said.

Sydney-based Quadrant originally planned to reduce its 46.5 percent holding to about 10 percent.

The company’s 33 fertility clinics in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales provided 35 percent of the IVF treatment cycles performed last year in Australia, according to a presentation obtained by Bloomberg News this month. The stock will start trading on June 14 and part of the funds raised will be used to pay off debt, the presentation material said. The share sale was managed by UBS AG and Morgan Stanley, according to the presentation.

Including the Virtus sale, Australia’s IPO market has raised $578 million so far this year, the most since 2007, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Virtus’s IPO is said to be the country’s largest since Shopping Centres Australasia Property Group, spun off from Australia’s largest retailer Woolworths Ltd., raised $483 million in October.

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