ECM-managed private equity fund sells Dermatologikum Group to Bergman Clinics

  • Development from a high-quality and regionally leading individual practice to a market-leading network of specialized facilities for classical and aesthetic dermatology
  • Through strategic acquisitions, new openings and organic expansion at the main location in Hamburg, the annual number of examinations increased by more than 50 percent to 150,000
  • As a future part of Bergman Clinics, Dermatologikum Group expands its treatment spectrum and benefits from the largest network of specialist clinics in the Netherlands

Frankfurt am Main/Fulda/Hamburg, 27 March 2023 – The independent German investment company ECM Equity Capital Management GmbH (“ECM“), as manager of the private equity fund German Equity Partners IV (“GEP IV“), today announced the sale of its majority stake in Dermatologikum Hamburg GmbH (“Dermatologikum Group“ or “the Group “). Dermatologikum Group is one of the largest private specialist facilities for diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases in Europe. The buyer of Dermatologikum Group is Bergman Clinics, operator of the largest network of specialist clinics for scheduled medical treatments in the Netherlands. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.

Staff and patient numbers increased, new locations opened

During GEP IV’s ownership, Dermatologikum Group has developed from a high-quality and regionally leading individual practice into a market leader for diagnosis and therapy of skin diseases and has significantly expanded its range of treatments for patients as well as the number of medical professionals. The number of employees has increased by approximately 120 to around 270 since 2016, while the number of medical specialists has increased from 40 to 70 in the same period. In addition, Dermatologikum Group has expanded its range of services to include related medical specialties within dermatology and aesthetic medicine, as well as a research unit for medical studies.

Thanks to the expansion of its presence to seven locations, Dermatologikum Group has also made it easier for its patients to access the high-quality range of treatments: In addition to the first Dermatologikum in Hamburg, new practices have been opened in Bremen and Zurich and further clinics added in Kiel, Bonn and once again Hamburg through strategic acquisitions. Most recently, with the acquisition of Sophienklinik in Stuttgart – one of the leading plastic surgery clinics in Baden-Württemberg – the first lighthouse location in Southern Germany has been established. The Group also maintains a cooperation location in Cologne. In addition, Dermatologikum Group has introduced video consultations across all locations, thus enabling patients to receive medical advice regardless of their location. As a result of these measures, the Group has significantly increased the number of annual examinations by more than 50 percent to 150,000 from 2016 to 2022.

Efficient management structures established, succession solved

With the support of ECM, Dermatologikum Group has built efficient management structures in recent years. Standardised group functions have been established in the areas of marketing, human resources, purchasing and finance, modern software has been implemented to support medical and administrative processes, and external communications have been standardized and modernized. In order to ensure the high quality of medical treatments, a Medical Board with high-profile members has also been established across all locations. The succession for the founder Prof. Dr. Volker Steinkraus was already resolved in 2019 when the operational management of Dermatologikum Group was transferred to the two experienced managing directors Selma Heinrich-Oppermann (COO) and Nikolas Diedrich (CFO). These measures have created the basis for sustainable growth of the Group in coming years.

Nikolas Diedrich, Managing Director and CFO of Dermatologikum Hamburg, said: “Thanks to the support of ECM, their expertise and extensive experience in scaling and further developing business models, we have been able to develop Dermatologikum Group from a high-quality individual practice into a market leader in the healthcare sector in recent years. We have continuously expanded the Group’s range of treatments in recent years and further strengthened its outstanding position throughout Germany. In the meantime, Dermatologikum Group has over 150,000 patient contacts per year and is thus one of the leading providers in diagnosis and therapy of skin diseases in Europe.“

Selma Heinrich-Oppermann, Managing Director and COO of Dermatologikum Hamburg, added: “In recent years, we have successfully built-up a professional group organisation and continuously digitised the medical and administrative processes. The focus has always been on the company’s values around high-quality patient treatments and a high degree of appreciation towards our employees. With the group functions established today, the basis was also created for continuing to selectively add high-quality new locations to Dermatologikum Group in the future. In this development, ECM’s expertise in further development of formerly founder-managed businesses as well as its broad network and access to external know-how has proven extremely helpful.”

Renowned partner for further growth

With Bergman Clinics, Dermatologikum Group has found a strong partner for the implementation of its future growth strategy. The health specialist operates clinics in the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Denmark as well as several locations in Germany. The clinics specialise in the treatment of skin and vein diseases, ophthalmology, orthopaedics as well as ENT medicine and aesthetic surgery. They form the largest network of specialist clinics for scheduled medical treatments in the Netherlands. In total, Bergman Clinics operate 140 locations in Northern Europe and treat more than 300,000 patients per year. The group employs more than 3,000 staff, including more than 250 medical specialists.

Prof. Dr. Volker Steinkraus, founder of Dermatologikum Group, said: “Thanks to the support of ECM, we have succeeded in recent years in developing Dermatologikum Hamburg into a market-leading group of specialist dermatology facilities and in continuing to steadily expand the quality of medical care. Without the competent support and broad experience of ECM in setting up efficient management structures and implementing growth strategies while at the same time maintaining the values and quality standards of Dermatologikum, the successful further development of the company would not have been possible. I would like to thank ECM for the close and trustful cooperation and wish the management team of Dermatologikum Group and Bergman Clinics every success in continuing the sustainable growth path.“

Alexander Schönborn, Partner of ECM, added: “Prof. Dr. Volker Steinkraus and the current management team around Selma Heinrich-Oppermann and Nikolas Diedrich have, with our support, developed Dermatologikum Group into a market leader in the German healthcare sector over the past years. This lays the foundation for a continuous improvement in the quality of care and further growth that continues to focus on the well-being of patients. We would like to thank Prof. Dr. Volker Steinkraus for his trust as well as Selma Heinrich-Oppermann and Nikolas Diedrich for the successful cooperation and wish the entire Dermatologikum Group under the new umbrella of Bergman Clinics every success for their joint future.”

GEP IV was advised on this transaction by Harris Williams (M&A), Milbank (legal and structuring), LEK (market and competition), Alvarez & Marsal (finance), Flick Gocke Schaumburg (tax) and Howden (insurance). Alexander Schönborn, Florian Kähler und Jan-Luca Bell were responsible for the transaction at ECM.

About ECM Equity Capital Management GmbH (“ECM”)

ECM is a trusted growth partner for mid-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs in German-speaking Europe. Since 1995, ECM has raised the private equity funds GEP I-V with aggregate equity commitments of more than €1 billion and currently invests out of its fifth fund GEP V (€325 million). The funds invest primarily in leading mid-market companies with attractive growth potential in the context of ownership successions, partnership transactions and corporate spin-offs.

Further information at:

About Dermatologikum Hamburg GmbH (“Dermatologikum Group”)

Dermatologikum Hamburg GmbH was founded in 1997. Today’s Dermatologikum Group comprises a total of seven locations: Hamburg (2), Bremen, Zurich, Kiel, Bonn, Stuttgart and a cooperation location in Cologne. Dermatologikum Group employs around 270 staff, including a team of approximately 70 medical specialists. It is thus one of the largest groups of practices and day-care clinics for classical and aesthetic dermatology in German-speaking Europe. With its own laboratory and diagnostics centre, Dermatologikum Group is a supra-regional centre of excellence with its mission to provide highest quality care.

Further information at:

About Bergman Clinics

For almost 30 years, Bergman Clinics has been a leading operator of independent clinics with 140 locations in the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Germany. The focal clinics offer high-quality, plannable medical treatments that focus on the patient and his/her condition. The Bergman Clinics are a leading specialist in treatments for orthopaedics, ophthalmology, gynaecology, aesthetic medicine, cardiology, gastroenterology, dermatology and vascular medicine. Bergman Clinics treats more than 300,000 patients per year in the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia. It has more than 3,000 employees and more than 250 medical specialists.

Further information at:

On behalf of ECM:

Charles Barker Corporate Communications GmbH
Hans Bielefeld, Phone 069 794090-44

Jan Sefrin, Phone 069 794090-26