NRI-led VPS Healthcare buys IFC-backed Rockland Hospitals
Rockland Hospital

VPS Healthcare, an Abu Dhabi-based hospital chain founded by non-resident Indian Shamsheer Vayalil, has acquired New Delhi-headquartered Rockland Hospitals, media reports said citing a company statement.

The details of the transaction haven’t been disclosed but The Times of India, which reported the development first, said that VPS Healthcare has committed to invest about Rs 1,500 crore ($222 million) to acquire and expand Rockland Hospitals.

Email queries to both companies seeking details of the transaction went unanswered by the time of filing this report.

Rockland Hospitals has three operational facilities in the national capital region where it also plans to set up a fourth hospital. VPS Healthcare has a network of 16 high-end hospitals and 100 primary care centres across the UAE, Oman and London.

VPS Healthcare’s first hospital became operational in 2007. Vayalil is the son-in-law of NRI business tycoon MA Yusuf Ali, who owns the LuLu hypermarket chain in the Middle East.

The latest deal allows International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-sector investment arm of the World Bank, to exit Rockland Hospitals. IFC had invested about $14 million (Rs 55 crore then) in Rockland in 2008 to help the company expand. At the time, the company had planned to invest Rs 300 crore to set up a hospital at Manesar, Haryana. The hospital is operational now.

Other healthcare deals

This is the second takeover deal by VPS Healthcare in three months. In April, it acquired a majority stake in Lakeshore Hospital, a super-specialty hospital in Kochi, according to a report by the Press Trust of India.

IFC has also been investing in healthcare companies in India. In April, it proposed to invest Rs 61.5 crore in Regency Hospital Ltd as part of the Kanpur-based healthcare company’s expansion project. Previously, it invested $25 million in Hyderabad-based Global Hospitals.

In other recent deals in the healthcare sector, Aster DM Healthcare, which runs hospitals in India and the Middle East, agreed to buy a majority stake in Ramesh Hospitals, a mid-sized hospital chain in Andhra Pradesh, in May. 

In August last year, Malaysia's IHH Healthcare Bhd inked a deal to buy a majority stake in Ravindranath GE Medical Associates Pvt Ltd, which runs a super-specialty care and multi-organ transplantation hospital chain under the Global Hospitals brand. This followed IHH’s deal to acquire a 51% stake in Hyderabad-based Continental Hospitals Ltd for about Rs 281 crore in March last year.

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