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Carlyle in talks to buy 28% stake in Trehan's hospital

Looks to acquire minority stake; negotiations over valuation continue

Reghu Balakrishnan  |  Mumbai 

Naresh Trehan
Naresh Trehan

Global private equity (PE) major Carlyle is in talks with renowned cardiac surgeon Dr Naresh Trehan to acquire a minority stake in his Gurgaon-based multi-super speciality hospital, Medanta -The Medicity. According to people in the know, Carlyle is keen to acquire 28 per cent stake of Avenue Capital, along with another 10-15 per cent stake owned by Trehan.

Trehan holds 55 per cent stake in Global Hospitals, which owns Medanta, while construction major Punj Lloyd owns another 17 per cent in the holding company.

According to sources, Trehan pegs the hospital’s overall valuation at 3,000-3,200 crore ($500 million) — four times its annual revenue at Rs 800 crore. However, the buyers are demanding a lesser valuation saying that the hospital doesn’t have presence in other north Indian states, sources said.

Emails sent to Trehan and Carlyle spokesperson did not elicit any response.

Medanta includes a research centre, medical and nursing school. It has 1,250 beds and over 350 critical-care beds with 45 operation theatres catering to more than 20 specialities.

Since Neeraj Bharadwaj joined as managing director of Carlyle Asia Buyout fund in India last year, the PE firm has been continuously exploring larger deals in Indian healthcare. Carlyle was also engaged in discussion to acquire the domestic formulations business of Mumbai-based Elder Pharma. Bharadwaj, former India head of Apax Partners, had clinched the $170-million investment in Apollo Hospitals. Apax offloaded its entire 19 per cent stake in Apollo recently for Rs 2,240 crore, a three-time gain on its investment.

In India, Carlyle has only one investment in healthcare space, Claris Lifesciences, which was made in 2006.

As one among the sectors which is insulated from regulatory issues, healthcare remains attracted to PE investors. Last week, Hyderabad-based Rainbow Hospitals received Rs 100-crore investment from UK-based CDC and Abraaj Group. Early this month, ASK Pravi had invested Rs 60 crore in Hyderabad's OMNI Hospitals.

Other hospitals which are looking for fundraising include Sri Kavery Medical Care (Trichy) Pvt Ltd, which is backed by Ajay Piramal-owned India Venture Advisors. Bangalore-based Cloudnine Hospitals is also looking for a funding of Rs 100 crore and engaged in discussion with funds such as Sequoia.

According to a CARE Research report, India has a demand of another 1.75 million beds by the end of 2025. Currently, the country has one hospital bed for 1,000 people, against the global average of four.

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First Published: Wed, August 21 2013. 23:20 IST