Abu Dhabi’s Al Noor Hospitals to merge with Mediclinic - Gulf Business
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Abu Dhabi’s Al Noor Hospitals to merge with Mediclinic

Abu Dhabi’s Al Noor Hospitals to merge with Mediclinic

Post the deal, Al Noor will be called Mediclinic International plc, a statement said

Abu Dhabi-based Al Noor Hospitals announced that it has decided to merge with South Africa-based Mediclinic.

Following the merger, London-listed Al Noor will be called Mediclinic International plc. The new company will have a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange and a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and possibly in Namibian Stock Exchange.

Mediclinic’s shareholders will hold about 84 per cent to 93 per cent of the merged group, depending on the take-up of existing Al Noor shareholders under the tender offer.

Post the deal, the group will operate 73 hospitals with around 10,200 beds and 35 clinics and will have nearly 32,000 employees, a statement said.

The merged group will have a comprehensive presence in the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, in Southern Africa and in the United Kingdom, it added.

On a revenue basis, the new company will be the third largest private healthcare provider in South Africa, the largest in the UAE and the largest private medical network in Switzerland.

“The combined business represents a unique platform from which to pursue numerous expansion opportunities in the high-growth UAE and wider Middle East healthcare market,” said Mediclinic’s chief executive officer Danie Meintjes.

“The combination also further diversifies Mediclinic’s geographic profile internationally, gives us additional exposure to USD-based high-growth earnings, and generates incremental financial and trading benefits through a listing on the LSE.”

Al Noor’s acceptance comes even as its UAE rival NMC Health made an offer to buy its shares.

But Al Noor’s chief executive Ronald Latver said that the Mediclinic merger deal presented a “compelling strategic fit”. In an analyst call later on, he added that the company had examined the proposal by NMC Health but found it “inferior” to Mediclinic’s offer.

On Wednesday, NMC Health again released a statement saying that it remained committed to the deal it proposed.

“This confirms our belief in the competitiveness of our initial possible offer and that the combination of NMC and Al Noor has the strongest strategic and financial rationale for all stakeholders. We reiterate our commitment to this opportunity despite the lack of meaningful engagement from the board of Al Noor,” NMC’s statement said.

“We plan to issue a further announcement in due course. We would urge shareholders to take no action at this time.”

Al Noor, which made a net profit of $44.9m in the first six months of 2015 compared to $45.6m a year earlier, has previously indicated plans to aggressively expand its regional operations.

Latver said that the merger with Mediclinic will further this goal as it significantly expands the reach of its network in the UAE and other parts of the Middle East.

The region’s healthcare industry is flourishing due to a steady growth in population and an increase in lifestyle diseases.

According to a report by EY, the Gulf Cooperation Council’s healthcare spending is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 11.4 per cent in 2015.


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