GII to Buy Health Company as Part of $1 Billion Saudi Expansion
(Bloomberg) -- Gulf Islamic Investments LLC, a financial services firm that oversees nearly $2 billion, is preparing for what could be its biggest deal yet as it looks to grow investments in Saudi Arabia and India and considers a listing in the next three years.
GII, as the firm is known, plans to buy a stake in a Saudi health-care company for around $600 million, co-founder Mohammed Alhassan said in an interview, declining to give specific details. The goal is plow around $1 billion into the kingdom over the next year to 18 months, with investments also targeted at logistics and cloud kitchens.
“We go where the money is and where the deals are,” Alhassan said. “We have a lot of faith in Saudi.”
Investor interest in medical care has been rising as the world’s population ages, and as the health-care sector prepares to address a backlog of procedures delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. The industry has also emerged as something of a safe haven for dealmakers during the global outbreak.
Rising life expectancy and aging populations have similarly boosted demand for health care in the Middle East. Oil-rich governments in the Gulf are spending more on providing medical services to their citizens as hospital operators try to keep up with growing populations.
GII’s biggest deal until now has been a joint venture with Capital Bay GmbH to invest 500 million euros ($589 million) in senior living real estate in Germany and eventually other European markets.
Based in the United Arab Emirates, 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, Alhassan said.
Another priority area for GII is India, where the total asset value of the firm’s health-care investments doubled in the last two years, according to co-founder Pankaj Gupta. The company plans to expand its investments in India into private equity.
|Read more on Middle East health-care investments and deals pipeline:|
“The fundamentals of growth in India are more secular compared to any other economy,” Gupta said.
GII is discussing the possibility of selling a stake of about 15% through an initial public offering in the next three years and plans to grow its assets under management to $5 billion by the time of its listing, according to Gupta.
The purpose of a primary offering would be to raise capital to fund the firm’s growth, he said. “We are open to Saudi, the UAE, and the U.K. too for the IPO,” Gupta said.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.