The sale marked the second exit in the last six months in the healthcare sector. Last year it exited Malaysian hospital operator IHH Healthcare Berhad through a dual IPO on Bursa Malaysia and the Singapore Stock Exchange, raising approximately $2bn in total, and was the third largest IPO globally at the time of listing.
Abraaj has a current portfolio of nine hospitals around the world, including in India, the Philippines, Kenya and Nigeria.
Abraaj acquired its stake in Vejthani in 2009. The investment was designed to capture increased demand within Thailand for international standards of medical treatment, as well as the growing healthcare tourism market, the firm said. It identified that rising middle class incomes in Russia, the Middle East and Africa would drive demand for quality healthcare, more competitively priced than might be possible locally or in private healthcare facilities in Europe and the US.
Its investment saw it grow from a local general hospital to a multi specialist hospital, growing from seven specialty clinics in 2007 to 22 clinics today, and delivering a three-fold increase in profits, according to Omar Lodhi, partner and Asia head at Abraaj.
“The success of our investment provides further validation of our conviction that quality healthcare is one of the most exciting opportunities across growth markets,” he said. “The emergence of a middle class across growth markets has in our view created permanent demand for quality healthcare, which in many countries cannot be fully addressed by the public sector”.
In addition to its hospital portfolio, Abraaj has invested in the broader healthcare sector including pharmaceutical and medical devices manufacturers and diagnostic service providers. These sectors are all set to benefit from increases in consumer spending on accessible and quality healthcare.
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