Gulf Capital to Buy Middle East Clinics in $100 Million Deal

(Bloomberg) -- Gulf Capital PJSC is poised to buy three fertility clinics in the Middle East from IVIRMA Global in a deal worth about $100 million, underscoring growing interest in the region’s health-care sector.

The transaction will include about 100 of IVIRMA’s employees at the facilities in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Muscat, the fertility company said in an emailed statement. The deal will be completed within “the next few days, although the final transition of some staff members will take place gradually throughout this year.”

A spokeswoman for Abu Dhabi-based Gulf Capital said an announcement will be made next week.

IVIRMA, formed out of a merger Spain’s Instituto Valenciano de Infertilidad and Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey in 2017, employs almost 2,400 people in 65 locations, according to its website. IVI opened a fertility center in Abu Dhabi in 2015 to tap into the region’s increased demand for assisted reproductivity.

The decision to sell the clinics was part of IVIRMA’s “strategic development plans” and the best way to ensure the business reaches its full growth potential, the company said.

Medical Tourism

With the acquisition, Gulf Capital will be tapping into a private health-care sector that has been growing rapidly in the United Arab Emirates and attracted large pools of capital. Cities like Dubai have also been promoting themselves as medical tourism destinations.

Read more: Gulf Capital Plans to Start New Private Equity Fund in 2020

Gulf Capital, which last year bought 70% of U.A.E. cosmetics firm Medica Holding, is one of the largest private equity firms in the Middle East with around $3 billion in assets under management.

The deal with IVIRMA is a rare large transaction for the Middle East’s private equity industry, which has been hit hard by the collapse of Abraaj Group in 2018. The demise of the Dubai buyout group, once the region’s largest, has spooked overseas investors and made fund raising more challenging.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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