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HealthCare Global picks up 12% stake in homegrown stem cell research firm

Bengaluru-based oncology chain HealthCare Global Enterprises Ltd has acquired a 12% equity stake in International Stemcell Services Ltd (ISSL) in a secondary deal that saw its existing shareholders divesting some of their holdings.

HealthCare Global, which has acquired 10,860 equity shares of ISSL for Rs 56 lakh in an all-cash deal, said that it will help the company develop treatment for cancer.

Incorporated in 2008 by Dr. SGA Rao, the managing director and chairman, Bengaluru-based ISSL is involved in stem cell research. It offers stem cell banking for regenerative medicine, including umbilical cord blood stem cells banking and mesenchymal stem cells banking from umbilical cord, stem cell therapies, and vaccine therapies for cancer patients. It also offers banking of bone marrow stem cells, peripheral blood mobilized stem cells, stem cells from lipo aspirate, and stem cell expansion and differentiation.

HCG’s inorganic growth moves

HealthCare Global was founded in 1989 and primarily focuses on infertility, tertiary care, cancer care and advanced diagnosis. It operates 23 cancer care centres under the HCG brand and fertility centres under the Milann brand in India. It also operates multi-speciality hospitals in Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, and Vadodara in Gujarat.

It is backed by PremjiInvest, the investment arm of Wipro Ltd chairman Azim Premji. Last year, PremjiInvest had sold a 2.54% stake in the company.

In 2006, the India Development Fund of IDFC Ltd had invested in the company, while Singapore’s Temasek had invested in 2013.

The company has a history of diversifying and growing its businesses inorganically. In 2005, it had entered the clinical laboratory business through the acquisition of Triesta Sciences. Two years later, it acquired Gujarat-based Medisurge Hospitals to foray into the multi-speciality hospital business. In 2013, it had entered the fertility business by picking up a 50.1% stake in BACC Healthcare.

The company was listed on the Indian stock exchanges in 2016.

Last year, it had entered the African market through an agreement with CDC, the development finance institution of the UK Government, to acquire a 93.66% stake in cancer center Cancer Care Kenya (CCK).

HCG had also bought a 17.72% stake in multispecialty hospital company Suchirayu Health Care Solutions Ltd in Karnataka.

In January, the company had announced its plans to merge the Triesta Sciences business unit with Strand Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd, a global bioinformatics and genomic profiling company. A month later, Asian healthcare-focused private equity firm Quadria Capital said it would invest in Strand Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd.

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