VPS Healthcare to proceed with bid for Al Noor Hospitals

VPS Healthcare has signalled its intention to proceed with a bid for Abu Dhabi-based Al Noor Hospitals.

The Abu Dhabi-based company’s founder and managing director, Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, made the disclosure as he unveiled a plan to build a cancer hospital in the capital using the latest proton beam therapy. It is part of a new medical city slated for Mohammed bin Zayed City.

“We will definitely make a bid,” said Mr Vayalil on the sidelines of a press conference to announce a new strategic partnership with the US-based health care provider Penn Medicine.

Under the deal, Penn Medicine will provide expertise for creating new systems, provide physicians and nursing staff and offer comprehensive training and development for VPS Healthcare’s staff.

The commitment to bid for Al Noor hastens the prospect of a three-way bidding war for Al Noor Hospitals, which has already agreed a US$2.3 billion reverse takeover by the South African healthcare group Mediclinic.

Rival firm NMC Health has said that it remains committed to its own plans for a merger. It needs to submit a revised bid by Friday. VPS Healthcare has until November 17 to make its own offer for the company.

VPS Healthcare is anticipating revenue of $1bn this year. The company, which was founded in 2007, currently has 7,500 employees and announced last week that it plans to add a further 5,000 in the next three years.

The population, health and wealth profile of regional economies is spurring investment in new hospital building while also encouraging a wave of merger and acquisition activity among operators.

Mergers and acquisitions involving Middle Eastern investors reached US$33.7 billion during the first nine months of 2015, a 23 per cent rise year-on-year, according to Thomson Reuters and Freeman Consulting. It marked the best first nine months of the year since 2010. Outbound mergers and acquisitions drove the activity.

The Arabian Gulf healthcare market is projected to grow at an annual rate of 12 per cent to $69.4bn by 2018 from $39.4bn in 2013, according to Alpen Capital, a Dubai-based financial services advisory firm.

Founded in 2007, VPS owns and runs hospitals and pharmacies under the LLH Hospitals, Life Care Hospitals and Life Line Pharma brands, as well as medical facilities in Oman.

Yesterday’s deal with Pen Medicine will help VPS Healthcare to develop its own oncology offer, as well as improve its treatment of diabetes and other chronic, lifestyle-related diseases and create a structure for VPS Healthcare’s nursing staff to gain accreditation under the American Nurses Credential is ing Center’s Magnet programme.

“Oncology is one space where we were very interested to collaborate,” said Dr Vayalil.


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