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The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Ltd (NIIF) on Thursday announced an investment of 2,100 crore in Manipal Hospitals through its direct private equity fund, the two parties said in a joint statement.

The investment by NIIF was for a minority stake being sold by Manipal Education and Medical Group chairman Ranjan Pai, said Dilip Jose, managing director and chief executive officer, Manipal Hospitals.

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“Dr Ranjan Pai is diluting a small part of his stake and that stake is being bought by NIIF. The secondary sale would mean the money would come to Dr Pai. Now, he can bring it to the company in a rights issue or any primary share sale," Jose said, but did not say how much stake Pai would sell.

The investment by NIIF’s Strategic Opportunities Fund is its first in the healthcare sector. The closing of the transaction is subject to certain approvals, the two parties said.

“Through this investment, NIIF looks forward to playing a role in serving the healthcare needs of India. The strong governance, processes and track record of Manipal Hospitals resonate well with NIIF’s investment philosophy," NIIF MD and CEO Sujoy Bose said in the joint statement.

The investment comes on the back of Manipal Hospitals’ acquisition of Columbia Asia Hospital Group’s Indian assets in November for around 1,800 crore, along with another 300 crore of Columbia Asia’s debt. The move helped the Pai-led hospital chain expand in key markets such as the National Capital Region and Kolkata.

The Columbia Asia transaction is likely to be completed by mid-April, with integration of the hospitals into the Manipal brand happening over six to nine months, Jose said.

After the transaction, Manipal Hospitals will focus on expanding primarily in the eastern states and strengthening its presence in Kerala and Hyderabad, Jose added.

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