Penta acquires profitable hospital after court ruling

Court orders the Nitra Regional administration to rent the hospital in Topoľčany to the Penta financial group.

(Source: Sme)

If the Anti-monopoly Office approves the rental, the hospital will be Penta’s fifteenth.  

This acquisition takes place less than a year since the group, through its Svet zdravia company, acquired two other hospitals, in Galanta and Dunajská Streda; those were loss-making, however. The rental for 20 years to Penta was approved on May 17, at a special session of the Nitra Regional deputies, as the hospital falls under the regional administration. Penta acquired the hospital through its partner, the Medisimo company, whose right to rental was established through the court ruling.

„First of all, the fact should be considered that it was not the initiative of the Nitra Region to rent the Topoľčany hospital,” the region’s spokeswoman Oľga Prekopová told the Sme daily, adding that the regional administration had to respect the court ruling. In 2009, the Nitra Region, as owner of the hospital, terminated the rental contract with the non-profit organisation Nemocnica Topoľčany (Topoľčany Hospital) due to an unpaid debt of one million euros towards the energy supplier, Energo SK, owned by the Nitra Region. The non-profit organisation complained that the termination was invalid, but the Nitra Regional Court and the Supreme Court confirmed that the contract was still valid. Meanwhile, the Medisimo company of Galanta bought the liabilities and duties of the non-profit organisation and claimed its right to rent the hospital. However, Medisimo does not have a license to operate a hospital, and thus it chose Penta’s Svet zdravia as its strategic partner.

Svet zdravia denied that it gained the hospital under pressure; or that it was connected to either the Medisimo company or Penta. It will pay €100,000 a year, without tax, for the rental, for the next 20 years. The hospital is in a sound financial sate, as it had a profit of more than €830,000 last year. Svet zdravia plans to invest seven million euros in the infrastructure; and €1.3 million more will be spent on the purchase of medical equipment and technology. The Topoľčany hospital will focus on acute patients, and on developing surgeries including orthopaedics.

The Anti-monopoly Office will approve or refuse this transaction within the next three months. 

Penta financial group also has a 45-percent share in Petit Press, the co-owner of The Slovak Spectator.

 

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