Aster DM Healthcare’s deal with Fajr Capital valuing its GCC business at $1.7 billion is expected to create at least 2,000 jobs in the next few years, Alisha Moopen, managing director and group CEO of Aster GCC business, told Khaleej Times on Tuesday.
The company is looking to expand into Saudi Arabia, with close to 250 pharmacies planned in the kingdom. “We are also readying the Medcare Royal Hospital in Al Qusais,” Dr Azad Moopen, founder and chairman of Aster told Khaleej Times in an interview. Most of the planned recruitment will be in these two spheres, Alisha Moopen added.
The deal with Fajr Capital will take the GCC business private, she added. “The Indian arm is already listed, and this deal will help us to focus on the two geographies separately, unlocking value for out shareholders,” Alisha Moopen said in an interview after UAE-based healthcare group entered into a definitive agreement with a consortium of investors led by Fajr Capital, a sovereign-owned private equity firm headquartered in the UAE, to invest in Aster’s GCC business.
Aster currently has a portfolio of around 20 million customers in a year, spread across its pharmacies, clinics and hospitals. “While our primary facilities (pharmacies and clinics) remain our focal point, we also would like to expand out digital door along with our physical presence,” Alisha Moopen said. The Aster app currently has over 1 million downloads and is expected to grow rapidly, she added.
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The deal will have a positive impact in terms of increasing Aster’s bouquet of offerings, said Dr Azad Moopen, founder and chairman of Aster. “We expect this deal to increase our capacity in our tertiary and quarternary fields. Especially, we expect to be able to expand our oncology offerings,” Dr Moopen said.
As a hub for medical tourism, Dubai already enjoys a leading position in the region due to its connectivity and infrastructure. “At this moment, the focus is more on cosmetic procedures. What we need more is of advanced facilities like women’s health, orthopaedics and robotic surgery, and these facilities will soon pick up,” Dr Moopen added.
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