Yash Birla Group has acquired 48 per cent in ayurvedic spa chain firm Birla Kerala Vaidyashala (BKV) to raise its stake in the firm to 99 per cent. The stake was acquired for an undisclosed amount from the Kurup family who continues to own 1 per cent in the company.

The move strengthens the group’s presence in the health & wellness segment. It had acquired 51 per cent in the joint venture with the Kurups three years ago.

BKV has more than 40 ayurvedic spa centres across key cities in India, and specialises in therapeutic massages and treatment for lifestyle diseases. The company is also planning to go global by launching ayurvedic med spa centres in the UAE, the Gulf region and South-East Asia.

The Yash Birla Group now aims to expand its privately held healthcare arm through a strategic 5-year-long phased plan. This will begin with expansion of centres through franchise route in major cities of India. During the second phase, it will strengthen medical and clinical ayurveda treatment and increase its share of business, besides implementing its aggressive expansion strategy in the Middle East. In the final phase spread over three years, the company plans to come up with 100 centres in India and abroad.

N Venkat, CEO of Birla Wellness, a part of the Yash Birla Group, said, “Apart from the planned geographical expansion, we are also looking to capitalise on the growing demand for quality solutions regarding mental and physical wellness.”

This transaction comes even as another group company, Birla Medspa, is looking to raise money from a public float. Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL)-backed healthcare start-up Birla Medspa had filed a draft prospectus with market regulator SEBI last year, looking to raise Rs 65.17 crore through its maiden public issue.

The two-year-old firm, engaged in the business of beauty and healthcare treatment, operates healthcare/fitness centres under the brand name Evolve. It has three company-owned-and-operated Evolve centres in Mumbai, besides two franchise centres in Thane and Chennai. The company intends to use the IPO money to establish 55 outlets of Evolve Medspa across various cities, bear the expenses towards brand promotion and meet working capital requirements for running the above centres.

While the Yash Birla Group owns 62.47 per cent stake in the company, another member of the venture, Dr Abhijit Desai, owns 0.5 per cent stake. The rest of the stake is with other shareholders, including the erstwhile foreign partner Pacific Healthcare Holdings of Singapore. But the question is: Will the group look at combining the opera report.

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