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Aster buy adds more fireworks to health M&A

|TAP Special| The UAE healthcare sector witnessed another landmark deal when Aster DM Healthcare acquired an additional 57 per cent stake in Sanad Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, raising its total ownership stake to 97 per cent.

The AED 900 Million (US$ 245 Million) investment in the Kingdom brings the total number of Aster DM Healthcare hospitals to six in the Gulf. Sanad Hospital has seen steady growth over the last eight years, with 250 patient beds, over 100 physicians and surgeons as well as 800 employees of which 30% are Saudi nationals.

Dr. Azad Moopen“This investment is a reiteration of our commitment to provide advanced medical care at affordable cost to the residents of Saudi Arabia,” said Dr. Azad Moopen, Chairman of Aster DM Healthcare.

Aster DM Healthcare has been expanding its footprint in the Gulf and India since 1987, with direct presence in all the GCC markets as well as India, Jordan and Philippines. The company also has five greenfield projects underway in the Gulf including a new hospital in Qatar and three in the UAE.   In India, the group operates three hospitals in Kerala (Kozhikode, Kottakal, Kochi), two in Maharashtra (Pune, Kolhapur), two in Telangana (Hyderabad) and a hospital in Karnataka (Bengaluru).

Only the other day, in a dramatic development the Al Noor Hospitals Group, which was being pursued by the NMC Group, apparently broke off and announced  it has reached an agreement for a merger with South Africa’s Mediclinic International Ltd and renaming Al Noor as Mediclinic International.

Al Noor said it will acquire Mediclinic in an arrangement under which Mediclinic shareholders will receive 0.62500 new Al Noor shares for each Mediclinic share held, as well as the Mediclinic interim dividend payable in December.

Al Noor shareholders will receive a special dividend of 3.28 pounds per Al Noor share and will also have the opportunity to tender their shares to Al Noor for cancellation for a cash payment of 8.32 pounds per share. This would mean a premium of approximately 39% to the closing price of 8.35 pounds per Al Noor share on October 1.

NMC has said that the company was weighing a number of options and that it would make a new announcement in ‘due course of time’.

LSE-listed NMC Health has of late been very active in the M&A scene, announcing some major acquisitions. These included ProVita International Medical Center, Abu Dhabi-based home care service provider Americare Group and Dr Sunny Healthcare Group, a chain of six medical centres and three pharmacies in Sharjah.