Dubai Investor Close to $600 Million Saudi Dental Clinics Deal
(Bloomberg) -- A Dubai-based investment company is nearing a $600 million deal to buy a majority stake in Saudi Arabia’s largest provider of dental and dermatology care, according to people familiar with the matter.
Gulf Islamic Investments LLC., also known as GII, is set to buy the 70% stake owned by private equity firm Jadwa Investment Co. in Almeswak Dental Clinics, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Emirati health-care company United Eastern Medical Services owns the rest of the shares. Jadwa acquired the stake in Almeswak in 2017, according to information on its website.
The sale of Almeswak, which operates about 85 centers across 25 cities in Saudi Arabia, underscores the growing appeal of health-care assets in the Gulf region. The domestic medical sector has been booming in recent years thanks to an improvement in incomes and as governments invested massively in medical infrastructure for their citizens. Investor interest in medical care has also been rising as the world population ages, and as the industry has emerged as something of a safe haven for deal-makers during the coronavirus outbreak.
Almeswak shareholders hired investment bank EFG-Hermes Holding Co. to explore options including a sale or initial public offering, people familiar told Bloomberg in February.
GII, which oversees more than $2 billion in assets, said earlier this year it is looking to expand in India and Saudi Arabia, where it intends to invest about $1 billion over the next 18 months in sectors ranging from health-care to cloud kitchens. The privately held Shariah-compliant company focuses on investments in alternative assets such as real estate, venture capital and private equity. More than half of its shareholders are Saudi.
Jadwa and GII declined to comment.
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