Mumbai: Even as it is in the running for two UK acquisitions likely to cost £1 billion (Rs8,600 crore), Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd, India’s largest hospital chain, is entering into joint ventures with local players for new hospitals in Mauritius, Fiji, Barbados and the Bahamas.
Until now, Apollo has typically wanted to manage existing hospitals overseas rather than own a piece of them.
In an interview with Mint, Prathap C. Reddy, chairman of Apollo Hospitals, said the group will be setting up hospitals in these places along with local partners.
“We are in the process of entering into joint ventures with individuals or enterprises in each of these places and the construction of the hospitals will be initiated shortly,” he added.
Apollo will hold a minority stake in each of these ventures to limit its financial exposure. But the company will still be responsible for the management of all these hospitals, earning fees for that in addition to a share of the profits.
“We have the expertise and the technology to take up management of hospitals in any part of the world,” Dr Reddy said.
The Apollo group currently manages hospitals in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nigeria as well as in West Asia. Apollo, which generates annual revenues of Rs707 crore, is also set to get management rights to multi-speciality hospitals in Bahrain and Yemen, as well as a couple in Saudi Arabia.
Dr Reddy said that in a bid to create a presence in the more lucrative western markets, Apollo Hospitals has also bid for two hospital chains in the UK. “The two chains—Capio and Abbey—have been up for sale. We are probably the only Indian health care player interested in acquiring these hospital chains,” he said.
Bids for both these hospital chains are due in May or June.
Dr Reddy said the group is considering various funding options to finance the acquisition. “We are talking to some financial institutions and private equity firms (to help fund the bid),” he said
Simultaneously, the group is expanding its presence in India as well. In January, it entered into a joint venture with One Equity Partners, the private equity arm of JP Morgan Chase, to set up Western Hospitals Corporation. The new venture is considering setting up the first Apollo Hospital in Mumbai. It is proposed to be a 200 bed multi-speciality hospital.
The Apollo Group has a network of about 40 hospitals across the country, including the ones that it manages for others.