Proximity care to increase in Italy
Hippocrates Holding will further deploy its innovative pharmacy model to provide a first point of access to the NHS for patients.
As evidenced by the Covid-19 pandemic, pharmacies play an increasingly important role in the territory as a key pillar of the National Healthcare System (NHS); the distribution of pharmaceuticals is, without a doubt, an essential public service which is vital to ensure uniformity, continuity and capillarity of the distribution of drugs, health services and healthcare advice to the general population.
The introduction of vaccinations and swab testing in pharmacies, together with the continued distribution of drugs, health services and healthcare advice, has been indispensable in overcoming and alleviating the over capacitated family doctors (General Practitioner) and nurses.
Hippocrates Holding is Italy’s first and largest independent proximity healthcare platform with a network of more than 300 pharmacies and 2,000 employees. It will continue to deploy its innovative pharmacy model to provide a first point of access to the NHS for patients, including healthcare advice provided by highly qualified pharmacists, building on today’s position as the leading player in the Italian proximity healthcare sector which provides a clear opportunity to ease the burden on the NHS.
In December 2022, Hippocrates secured a debt financing package of over €900 million to support its next stage of growth. In addition to refinancing the existing credit lines to simplify operations, the agreement provides over €420 million of funding to support growth. The company plans to focus on developing its network to over 500 pharmacies by 2024, the delivery of best in class service to patients, and continued innovation of the sector.
This deal is one of the largest debt raises by an Italian private issuer in 2022 and a market-first for large cap social infrastructure in Italy: the financing package was signed with a pool of 15 lenders, consisting of historical Italian relationship banks, international infrastructure lenders and large infrastructure debt funds - including Société Générale, who acted as Arranger, Bookrunner and Hedge Provider.
This is a very important refinancing that represents a significant milestone in the history of Hippocrates and sets a new benchmark for the entire Italian proximity healthcare sector. The transaction will enable us to further strengthen the fundamental ingredients of our consistent growth, including our intuition for identifying great opportunities for development and innovation, our integration of new services within the role of the Italian pharmacy, and our unique combination of a physical pharmacy interfaced with a digital platform. We now look to further consolidate our leadership position.