Aster DM Healthcare plans stake sale via listing, deal
Abu Dhabi - A growing and increasingly wealthy population also means that cases of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes are rising sharply.
Aster DM Healthcare is seeking to sell a minority stake this year either through a stock market flotation or a deal with a private investor, its chairman told Reuters on Thursday.
The company runs hospitals, clinics and pharmacies across the Gulf and India and is benefiting from a booming healthcare market in the UAE and other areas of the Gulf due to the introduction of mandatory health insurance schemes. A growing and increasingly wealthy population also means that cases of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes are rising sharply.
This has attracted significant interest from both public and private investors: shares in NMC Health, a UAE-based competitor of Aster DM, have risen nearly fourfold since listing in London in 2012, while the sector has seen a number of mergers and acquisitions. The biggest was the recent $2.2 billion takeover of Al Noor Hospitals, another UAE competitor, by South Africa's Mediclinic International.
Aster DM, a privately owned healthcare group is looking at either an initial public offering or a private placement with an institutional investor, Azad Moopen said. "We are looking at two options for investments into the company as we expand," Moopen said.
The company has appointed India's Kotak Mahindra Bank and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch as advisors to explore the stake sale.
The exact stake to be sold and the valuation of the company will be decided shortly, he said, declining to say how much the company aims to earn from the sale.
If it opts for the IPO route, it would probably list in London, Dubai or India, said Moopen.
Aster DM Healthcare, majority owned by Indian businessman and physician Moopen, was founded in 1987 with some private equity investors also holding stakes.
Its hospitals and clinics have a combined bed capacity of over 2,500 across the Gulf and in India. In October, the group lifted its stake in Saudi Arabia's Sanad Hospital from 40 to 97 per cent for $245 million.