William Malcolm

Prague Proton Therapy Center Sells For CZK 2.5B

The Prague Proton Center, home to a cancer treatment center, has changed owners. It was bought from the Erste banking group for 2.5 billion crowns by Démétér Property from the Raiffeisenbank group, Seznam reports. Proton Therapy Center Czech remains the operator of the medical facility as before.

The previous owner of the center located on the premises of the Bulovka University Hospital in Prague 8 was the company Immorent from the Erste Group. “In recent years, the Erste Immorent Group has significantly slowed down its activities not only in the Czech Republic, but in the entire Central European region. The sale of the Prague Proton Center is a natural part of this slowdown,”

The new owner of the center is Raiffeisen – Leasing, which acquired it through Démétér Property. “Raiffeisen – Leasing, as a financing institution, holds ownership of the project company in order to secure the financing provided to the client,” Gabriela Pelnářová, head of marketing for the leasing company, told the server.

The transaction was signed last November and neither party commented on its price. According to the contract deposited in the real estate cadastre, the value of the transaction was 2.5 billion crowns, said Seznam Zprávy.

The client of Raiffeisen – Leasing is the company Proton Therapy Center Czech, controlled by Václav and Pavel Laštovkové, who stood at the birth of the Proton Center. According to the Commercial Register, Raiffeisenbank has their shares in the center’s operator until 2040, up to the amount of 4.6 billion crowns. A deposit of 361 million crowns, which the Laštovka brothers’ company originally deposited on Immorent’s account, was also transferred to Raiffeisen – Leasing, according to the List of Reports. According to him, Raiffeisen subsequently agreed with the Laštovky to delete the receivable by offsetting the debt from the extraordinary lease payment that Proton Therapy Center Czech was to pay.

The Proton Center was opened at the end of 2012. It was established as a private project worth 3.5 billion crowns. It focuses on the treatment of cancer patients, such as prostate cancer or head and neck cancer. Proton therapy is highly accurate and gentle, but also expensive.

The establishment of the center and the first years of its operation were accompanied by disputes over the reimbursement of treatment by the General Health Insurance Company (VZP). In 2006, the then compulsory administrator of the insurance company, Antonín Pečenka, signed a future contract with Proton Therapy Center Czech. The document envisaged the conclusion of another contract, which would guarantee the then non-existent Proton Center for 15 years the payment of medical services for 1,650 patients per year. However, VZP later refused to accede to the requirements enshrined in the future contract and won a dispute over the validity of the document. It finally concluded a contract for the payment of care with the center after intensive negotiations only in 2016. The center currently states on its website that it has contracts with all Czech health insurance companies.