By Joe Hoppe
Sistema JSFC said Wednesday that it has jointly acquired Nearmedic International LLC for a nominal price of 1 ruble, together with its net debt of 5.9 billion rubles ($80.7 million).
The Russian investment company, listed in London and Moscow, said it has acquired Nearmedic, the owner of Nearmedic Plus, Nearmedic Pharma and several other pharmaceutical, biotech and healthcare businesses in Russia and Italy. Sistema and Sberbank have in equal parts provided RUB1.2 billion to the new holding company, JSC New Investment Holding, which will go towards the partial repayment of Nearmedic's outstanding debt to Sberbank.
Sistema and Sberbank have also entered an option agreement, exercisable in three-and-a-half years. If exercised, Sistema would acquire the entirety of JSC with up to RUB2.8 billion in outstanding receivables due from Nearmedic to be transferred from Sistema to Sberbank.
Sistema said it will soon begin implementing a turnaround plan for Nearmedic, focusing on boosting the value of the company's assets and expanding production capacities.
"Nearmedic group has growth potential that can be unlocked through restructuring and improvements in efficiency, areas precisely where Sistema has robust, proven expertise," Sistema President Vladimir Chirakhov said.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires