October 4, 2019 / 6:04 PM / 9 days ago

Spanish fertility group IVI-RMA picks adviser to search for investors- sources

MADRID, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Spanish fertility treatment group IVI-RMA Global has hired Morgan Stanley to review strategic options for the company, including the sale of a minority stake, four sources with knowledge of the decision told Reuters.

The deal could see the company valued at up to 1.4 billion euros, two investment bank sources with knowledge of the deal said on condition of anonymity.

The group aims to get a U.S. or Asian partner to help in expansion and take advantage of growing demand for fertility treatment, the sources said, at a time when a growing number of women are choosing to start a family at an older age.

“We are studying strategic options but any deal is in a preliminary stage,” an IVI-RMA spokeswoman said, without further details.

Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

A sale could attract interest from private equity and industry players. Recently, Swedish fund EQT bought Spain’s Igenomix, a medical testing laboratory specialised in reproductive genetic services.

The four sources warned that no deal is certain and that IVI-RMA had before the summer refused an unsolicited approach valuing it at around 850 million euros.

IVI-RMA has more than 65 clinics in 11 countries. The company is the result of the 2017 combination of Spain’s IVI and the RMANJ in the United States. Shareholders of IVI, a group of doctors and investors from Spain’s eastern region of Valencia, got 70% and RMANJ the remaining 30% of the new company.

“The idea is to find a minority investor, but they are open to a majority if the price is good enough,” one source said, noting Morgan Stanley handled the IPO of another fertility company - Jinxin Fertility - on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in June.

IVI-RMA, whose financial figures are not public, forecasts 70 million euros in core profit (Ebitda) in 2019 and is aiming for a valuation of 20 times that, one of the sources said. (Editing by Ingrid Melander and Deepa Babington)

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