Leading IVF clinic Fertility Associates is its own master again after completing a buy-back of 40 per cent of the business from Monash IVF in Melbourne for an undisclosed sum.

The buy-back has been financed by medical financial services provider Medical Assurance Society.

The clinic sold the 40 per cent stake to Monash IVF - originally owned by Monash University - in 2005.

But the company was subsequently purchased by private equity firm ABN Amro. Owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland, ABN Amro was hit hard by the credit crisis. It had been looking to sell its stake in Monash IVF, and Fertility Associates did not want to be caught up in that, founder and chairman Richard Fisher said.

It wanted the drivers of the business to remain clinical, rather than financial, he said. "The thing that we wanted was to be masters of our own destiny, really, and if we were going to be in partnership with somebody, we wanted to choose who it was."

The clinic had decided it did not need a partner and sought funding to buy back the stake.

It had several offers but chose Medical Assurance because it liked the idea of being involved with another medical organisation, Fisher said.

Business was steady, but fertility treatment was not immune to the recession. The clinic had not seen the usual growth rates this year.

"Fertility treatment is something many people could delay for some time without substantially altering their chances of getting pregnant."

Fertility Associates has three clinics doing 1800 cycles of IVF a year. Its annual turnover is around $15 million.

Medical Assurance chief executive Martin Stokes said the Fertility Associates deal was a significant one for his organisation.