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Virtus buys Danish fertility clinic

AAP logoAAP 1/12/2016 Petrina Berry

Australia's largest IVF provider Virtus Health has expanded its international footprint with an acquisition of a Danish fertility clinic.

Virtus has bought Aagaard Fertility Clinic in Denmark's second largest city, Aagaard, just outside Copenhagen for $16.5 million.

Chief executive Sue Channon says the Aaagard clinic fitted in well with the group's international expansion plans because Denmark has operational and regulatory similarities with Australia..

"We are always looking for markets where the clinical and medical practices are similar to Australia and where there's strong regulatory frameworks around assisted reproductive services (ARS)," Ms Channon told AAP.

"Denmark fitted into that really well."

Ms Channon said Europe's fertility services lack dominant players and the sector is ripe for the arrival Virtus, which owns clinics across Australia, one in Singapore and clinics in Ireland.

"The fertility markets in Europe and the UK are highly fragmented. They haven't gone through consolidation the way the Australian market has and we have two of the largest (assisted reproductive) services in Australia (Virtus and Monash IVF)," she said.

"There are likely to be more acquisition opportunities."

She said Europe, like Australia, had a growing number of women leaving motherhood till later in their life and an increase in same-sex couples and single women wanting to have children.

Sydney-based Virtus also wants to expand its footprint in Asia.

Investors were pleased with the Danish acquisition, with Virtus shares closing 15 cents, or 2.6 per cent, higher at $5.91 on Thursday.

The existing Aagaard management team will continue to run the business and the companies will share their IVF technologies.

Virtus made a $32.9 million annual profit for 2015/16, an increase of 11.8 per cent on the prior year.

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