An American investment firm has signed a deal to acquire control of Apollo Hospitals Dhaka at a cost of around Tk1,000 crore.
With this acquisition by the Evercare Group, STS Holdings Ltd, the current operator of Apollo Hospitals Dhaka, will join the network of Evercare hospitals operating across South Asia, including India, Pakistan, and Africa.
The Evercare Group is wholly owned by The Evercare Health Fund, a $1 billion emerging markets healthcare fund managed by The Rise Fund, which is the impact investment platform of the US-based Texas Pacific Group.
The United Kingdom's development financier CDC Group and some other significant investors are financing The Rise Fund.
Impact funds are collective investment schemes in the form of alternative investment funds which always look for social impact of any planned investment in addition to financial returns.
The current franchise agreement between Apollo and STS is going to expire in June this year.
The acquisition will be completed within the first half of 2020, said a press release of the Texas Pacific Group on Monday.
Credible sources told The Business Standard that the acquirer may end up having around 60 percent shares of STS Holdings if the deal is executed according to plan.
"As we seek to improve health outcomes for patients, Evercare and CDC are the right partners to help expand our work in Bangladesh," said Bob Kundanmal, chairman of STS Holdings.
"They will provide the expertise and resources required to strengthen our model and drive enhanced specialist services and quality health outcomes in the underserved market in Bangladesh," he added.
Professor AHM Enayet Hussain, additional director general of the Directorate General of Health Services, told The Business Standard that this is the biggest foreign acquisition deal signed so far in the country's healthcare sector.
He expects the acquirer to bring modern technology and expertise in the field of healthcare.
"I hope they will keep healthcare affordable for the common people," added Enayet.
Andrew Currie, chief operating officer of the Evercare Group, said his company is always ready to improve the condition of patients by increasing the quality of healthcare and reducing costs.
The Business Standard reported in September last year that the US investment giant Texas Pacific Group was in talks with STS Holdings for buying a controlling stake in the latter.
STS had once planned to offer shares in the stock market. But it reversed the decision last year because of market adversity and because some of its entrepreneurs had since been looking to transfer a portion of their stake to a good investor.
STS began operations in 2005. It is operating as Apollo Hospitals Dhaka under a franchise agreement with India's Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd.
Apollo Hospitals Dhaka is a 425-bed multi-disciplinary super-specialty hospital. Since its inception to date, approximately 6,60,116 patients have registered and over 25,14,152 patients have availed out-patient consultation across over 29 disciplines.
As part of the Evercare platform, STS will continue to strengthen Bangladesh's healthcare infrastructure by providing premium care via its expertise and state-of-the-art facilities.
By being able to tap into the cross-regional Evercare platform and capabilities, STS will seek to streamline procurement, enhance clinical capabilities and optimise its operations, ultimately strengthening its quality of care.
In addition to its existing hospital in Dhaka, STS's new Chattogram facility will further expand its reach. The 400-bed facility is almost ready to open soon.
The Dhaka facility of STS was the first hospital in Bangladesh to receive the Joint Commission International (JCI) Accreditation in 2008. To date, it remains the only JCI-Accredited hospital in the country.
JCI Accreditation is an international stamp for excellence in clinical practices in patient care and safety.