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Columbia Asia Hospitals sells Ahmedabad unit to Zydus Hospitals
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Columbia Asia Hospitals Pvt. Ltd said on Tuesday it has sold one of its dozen hospitals in India to Zydus Hospitals for an undisclosed amount.

Columbia Asia said in a statement that it sold its only hospital in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), of 90 beds, set up in 2014. The buyer, Zydus, already has two hospitals in Gujarat: a 650-bed unit in Ahmedabad and another in Anand.

Zydus Hospitals is the family-funded business of the promoters of listed pharmaceuticals company Cadila Healthcare Ltd.

Columbia Asia has plans to relocate its employees at the Ahmedabad unit to its other hospitals in the country. The firm will compensate those who choose to stay back in Ahmedabad, said Nandakumar Jairam, chief executive of Columbia Asia.

All the hospitals of Columbia Asia have been set up by the firm itself, which will be open to acquiring hospitals as well, a spokesperson said.

Columbia Asia's remaining 11 hospitals are mostly in Bengaluru. Meanwhile, the company is planning to open a new hospital in Pune, which will be its largest in India, said Jairam.

The hospital chain, which was founded in 1994, has 12 hospitals in Malaysia, two in Vietnam and three in Indonesia. In 2016, the company had said Japan's Mitsui & Co. will invest around $101 million in Columbia Asia.

Investment bank Indium Capital Advisors advised Columbia Asia on this transaction. 

India's hospital sector has seen a flurry of investments this year.

In July, Fortis Healthcare Ltd accepted a proposal from Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Berhad to inject Rs 7,300 crore ($1.06 billion) into the Indian hospital chain, making it the largest investment in India’s growing healthcare sector.

Last week, VCCircle reported that Manipal Health Enterprises Ltd is evaluating a bid to acquire a stake in the company that operates Gurugram-based super-speciality hospital Medanta—The Medicity.

Experts say rising incomes, greater health awareness, increase in lifestyle diseases and access to insurance will contribute to the growth of the hospital industry in India. According to global accounting firm Deloitte, the $100 billion Indian healthcare market is likely to grow at a compound annual rate of 23% to $280 billion by 2020, driven by increased digital adoption.

The Modi government’s ambitious Ayushman Bharat programme, which promises to make quality healthcare services available to over 500 million citizens in the country, is also expected to boost the hospital industry. Ayushman Bharat is a health insurance scheme.

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