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UAE’s NMC Health expands into Saudi

UAE’s NMC Health expands into Saudi

The company has taken a majority stake in a new hospital in Jeddah

NMC Health said on Monday it had expanded into Saudi Arabia through an investment and an acquisition, the first foray into the wider Gulf for the United Arab Emirates-based healthcare provider.

This enabled it to raise its guidance for 2017 group EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) to $300m from the previously-disclosed $290m, NMC said in a statement.

NMC, along with other companies, is tapping into substantial growth in the sector as the Gulf’s increasingly wealthy population becomes more susceptible to lifestyle diseases such as diabetes.

It has taken a majority stake in a new 120-bed hospital in Jeddah by putting $4m of equity into the operating company.

NMC will also provide a $9m two-year loan to its subsidiary Provita, which will manage the business.

It has also acquired a 70 per cent stake in As Salama Hospital in the kingdom’s Eastern Province for $28m, adding 140 beds to its total count.

“This represents another major advance towards our objective of developing a regional leader in the field of specialist long-term care,” said B.R. Shetty, chief executive of NMC.

As well as plans to revamp the existing facilities at Khobar-based As Salama, NMC said its strategy includes possible investment and expansion in the central region of Saudi, which includes the capital, Riyadh.

The London-listed firm now has 1,135 operational beds across its network, which is primarily in the UAE but also includes Spanish fertility firm Clinica Eugin.

It generated EBITDA of $115.9m in the first half of 2016, up 68.2 per cent over same period of last year.

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