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OberScharrer Group

OberScharrer Group

May 2011

May 2018

3.6x / 21% IRR


Fürth, Germany


Pan-European ophthalmology group

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Business at time of investment

The Ober Scharrer Group is the leading ophthalmology group in Germany offering a broad spectrum of treatments to public and private patients. Key services provided are surgical treatments such as cataract operations and innovative treatments such as Intra Vitreal Operative Medication for degenerative eye disorders. The company employed 355 staff at seven regional outpatient centres and performed 28,000 ocular surgeries annually.

Investment rationale

Ophthalmology is a niche market with stable growth of approximately 5-7% per annum driven by ageing populations and the development of new treatments. The majority of ophthalmic treatments are not performed in hospitals due to the ability of specialised outpatient centres to provide services more efficiently and cost-effectively. The German industry is highly fragmented with the top three players owning a 4% market share thus presenting an opportunity for regional consolidation and national expansion. As the leading ophthalmology clinic group, OSG is ideally positioned to build out its market position to become a major national player.

Value creation

  • Strengthened management team: Led a reorganisation of the management team and board, appointing a new CEO, CFO and Chairman
  • Built acquisition capability: Developed a dedicated M&A strategy and obtained a substantial financing package to fund an acquisition programme, allowing OSG to systematically execute M&A opportunities 
  • Achieved significant growth: Acquired and established new regional outpatient centres (Düsseldorf / Wuppertal, Mönchengladbach / Erkelenz and Siegburg) whilst maintaining leading patient care standards
  • Enhanced referral network: Created an ongoing programme to acquire referring physicians to strengthen OSG’s own referring network and signed several cooperation contracts with hospitals


During Palamon’s ownership period, the Company grew from a local Bavarian group to become the undisputed market leader in German ophthalmology, growing market share from c. 2.5% in 2012 to c. 5% at exit. OSG employed over 750 staff at 80 clinics and performs approximately 97,000 ocular surgeries annually. In H1 2018, Palamon agreed the sale of OSG to Nordic Capital, generating a 3.6x total return on capital invested (including the proceeds of a dividend recapitalisation). 


Following the successful sale, Palamon executed its option to retain a minority stake in the business and participate in the next phase of the company's growth alongside two co-investors.  OSG continues to execute the acquisitions of smaller practices in Germany, whilst driving greater efficiency across the whole group.