36.6 Looks to Buy EMC Clinics

36.6 pharmacy russiaThe drugstore chain 36.6 is in final negotiations to buy the European Medical Center, a spokeswoman for the medical center said Thursday.

The deal would put the European Medical Center and the European Dental Center under the control of one of the most visible pharmacy chains in the country.

EMC spokeswoman Anastasia Karpova confirmed the medical group was in negotiations to be sold to 36.6, but said she would not be able to provide any additional information until a deal was finalized.

Andrei Slivchenko, director of corporate finance and investor relations at 36.6, declined to comment on a possible acquisition of EMC. He said the company had a policy of not commenting on negotiations until a deal is struck.

David Melik-Guseinov, head of marketing research at Pharmexpert, said 36.6 announced earlier this year that it was looking to acquire dental clinics around Moscow.

Melik-Guseinov said he did not know what kind of changes EMC could expect under the corporate umbrella of 36.6, but that the drugstore company had a good reputation.

Nobody knows about the integration of the medical clinics and dental clinics,” he said, but added that for 36.6 it seemed like a “good idea to integrate their business with other businesses.”

As well as its chain of more than 500 drugstores, Pharmacy Chain 36.6 owns Veropharm, which manufactures pharmaceuticals, medical products and vitamins. The company has about 4,000 employees, and total sales last year topped $300 million.

The company listed shares in an IPO in 2003, and the current market capitalization of 36.6 is $320 million. The company was marginally profitable for the last few years amid steadily rising sales figures, but net income jumped to $8.3 million in 2005, according to data from Bloomberg.

EMC operates the European Medical Center on Spiridonyevsky Pereulok and the nearby European Dental Center.

The medical center was founded in 1989 but has expanded dramatically in recent years, Karpova said. She said the owner and director of the medical center, radiologist Andre Kobouloff, was out of the country Thursday and unavailable for comment.

EMC’s roster lists more than 40 physicians — mostly Russian and French — with specialties ranging from cardiology and ophthalmology to surgery and anesthesiology. Eight doctors are assigned to make house calls, which cost a minimum of 100 euros for people living inside the Garden Ring. In addition, six dentists, orthodontists and oral surgeons work at the European Dental Center.

Source: Moscow Times

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