Dubai’s Foundation Holdings targets Saudi health sector

RIYADH: Dubai-based Foundation Holdings Co. acquired a 51 percent stake in Saudi primary health chain Shifa Al Munthaza Polyclinic, Bloomberg reported, citing the company’s CEO, Abhishek Sharma.
The health care and education investment firm Foundation Holdings plans to invest about SR250 million ($67 million) in Saudi Arabia’s primary health care sector, almost half of which was spent on the Shifa deal, Sharma said in an interview.
This is its second investment in the Saudi market for medical care, and the company said it plans to list the firm in the next two years.
Saudi Arabia’s primary health care market is expected to grow to SR50 billion by 2025 from SR28.6 billion currently, according to Bloomberg.
“Healthcare in Saudi Arabia is one the fastest growing markets in the region,” Sharma said.
“We invest in local champions to make them bigger and stronger, and then we take them public and make them more sustainable,” he said.
Shifa Al Munthaza and Foundation Holdings are expected to start trading on the parallel market Nomu over the next 18-24 months.
“We are convinced that Saudi Arabia is set to become a focal point for health care,” he said.
Foundation Holdings is weighing other acquisition opportunities in Riyadh and in the Kingdom’s eastern province, the CEO said.

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