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Dubai’s healthcare sector experiencing aggressive acquisition deals

UAE-based Amanat Holdings PJSC, which invests in healthcare and education, has bought Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center for $232 million. NMC healthcare's hospital business is also on offer

Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center reported revenue of $75.3 mn and net income of $15.2 mn for 2020 Suitors have shown interest in NMC Health’s core hospital business, sources told Reuters Most health and service organizations in the UAE plan to invest in digital technology and data solutions

UAE-based Amanat Holdings PJSC, which invests in healthcare and education, has bought Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center for $232 million, underlining the robust demand for specialist medical services in the Gulf region.

Amanat’s shares rose as much as 2.6%, the most since Jan. 21 and the third-biggest increase among 37 members of the DFM General Index, which was up 0.1%.

Cambridge Medical and Rehabilitation Center is a post-acute care and rehabilitation provider, with more than 250 beds across three facilities — two in the UAE and one in Saudi Arabia. It reported revenue of $75.3 mn and net income of $15.2 mn for 2020.

Aging populations and rising life expectancy have boosted demand for health care in the region. 

NMC Healthcare has attracted considerable interest for its UAE and Oman hospitals.

Mohamad Hamade, CEO of Amanat said that with the acquisition, the company expects to build the region’s biggest provider of post-acute care and rehabilitation services.

With this transaction, Amanat has fully deployed the $680.6 million it received from investors since it was listed in Dubai in 2014.  

Read: Growth in health and med-tech industry to accelerate as regional demand rises

Read: The NMC Healthcare disaster and failures of financial due diligence

NMC healthcare’s hospital business for sale

Abu Dhabi state-owned holding company ADQ and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners are among the suitors that have shown interest in NMC Health’s core hospital business, sources told Reuters.

Hospital operators in the region have reported higher profits for last year as the COVID-19 pandemic led to higher in-patient occupancy.

NMC has hired advisers for the sale of NMC’s healthcare business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman, which sources said could generate around $1 billion.

ADQ’s portfolio includes Abu Dhabi Health Services Co (Seha).

Saudi Arabian healthcare operator Sulaiman Al Habib Medical Group (HMG) and Hospital chain operator Mediclinic have been invited to the process, said a number of sources.

The deal is active and investor talks with management have started, but the candidates have yet to submit non-binding bids and there is no guarantee it will lead to a sale, the sources said.

NMC, founded in the 1970s, became the largest private healthcare provider in the UAE, but last year, the disclosure of more than $4 bn in hidden debt left some UAE and overseas lenders with heavy losses that prompted legal battles to try to recover money owed.

But NMC said in February that gross revenues from its UAE and Oman business were $1.12 bn, 11% ahead of the business plan.

Dubai was placed third overall globally and second in the Major Cities category according to the report published by fDi Intelligence, part of the Financial Times. The high ranking in the new ‘FDI Global Cities of the Future 2021/2022’ report validates the emirate’s status as a magnet for foreign direct investment.

Remote patient monitoring 

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has revealed plans to “enhance” its use of smart health technology, exploring remote-patient monitoring in the first instance.

The authority said that it is currently collaborating with Enpy, a Dubai-based startup that specializes in medical artificial intelligence (AI), to consider the use of Enpy’s latest AI-powered device for remote monitoring.  

Enpy’s AI-powered product has been described as an “all-in-one, non-invasive medical device” that is able to be paired with a smartphone or tablet. It then monitors important information, such as vital signs, in order to make patients make better decisions.

A report led by Earnest and Young released last month revealed that the majority of health and service (HHS) organizations in the UAE plan to invest further in digital technology and data solutions after “seeing their value and increasing importance during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Meanwhile, UAE’s business activity is slowing as COVID-19 cases rise, reported Bloomberg.