Case Study

EMI: For the track record

16 pages
April 2009
Reference: IMD-3-2028

In Feburary 2006, Luc Gerard and Gerardo León, comfortably ensconced on their office sofa, were able to take a quiet moment to reflect which was a rare treat these last few months. A US$15.8 million investment had been staring them in the eyes for a while. Within the context of their previous employers, this amount would not have sounded out of place or even material. But for the first time, the two partners were talking about playing with their “own” money. The stakes were significantly higher! A few months earlier, they had joined forces to launch one of the first private equity funds in Colombia. Luc originated the idea: After a globetrotting corporate career engineering and managing mergers and acquisitions for others, he could no longer resist the urge to do his own deals. With their reputations and extensive networks in the corporate world, it would be easy to find potential deals. But finding the funds was a different story; this was a reputation-based business and they had no real personal track records. They would have to start from scratch and rapidly establish one to have a chance of raising the money. One company that looked particularly interesting was EMI (Emergencias Medicas Integrales), a Colombian healthcare company providing emergency services at home. While it had a respected brand, strong operations and healthy finances, it was clearly undermanaged and presented great value-creation opportunities through product development and geographic expansion. A minor problem, however, was that they did not have the money to acquire the company, let alone fund new acquisitions. A last-minute co-investor had saved the day, but they now faced decision time. Was EMI the company that would help them unlock the safes of the local institutional investors they wanted for their private equity fund? Would they be able to generate enough value and visibility quickly through this deal and establish themselves as deal makers? How should they treat this unexpected external investment for the deal? Was this taking them in a very different direction from the intended fund vehicle?

Learning Objective

Building and managing a brand globally in the healthcare industry; Developing a micro health insurance system in Latin America; Globalization of brands; Growth financing and management in a global context; Emerging countries globalization; Building a new private equity vehicle.

Private Equity, Growth Financing, Brand Building, Brand Management, Health Care Services, Medical Services, Health Insurance, Growth Management
South America
Emergencias Medicas Integrales, Healthcare
Field Research
© 2009
Available Languages
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Teaching note, Video
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