Abraaj strikes first healthcare deal in Pakistan

The deal is the second from Abraaj’s $1bn healthcare fund and comes as the firm eyes further Pakistan healthcare assets.

The Abraaj Group has acquired Pakistani diagnostics chain Islamabad Diagnostics Centre, the second deal from its $1 billion healthcare fund and the first step in its push to acquire and consolidate a range of healthcare assets in the county, the firm told PEI.

“We are actively looking at hospitals, both general and speciality, not just at diagnostics. We are looking to create at ecosystem approach in Pakistan and capture synergies across assets,” Hisham Moussa, managing director at The Abraaj Group said.

Moussa said Abraaj will use IDC as a platform to consolidate the laboratory and imaging services market in Pakistan.

“Diagnostics is very fragmented. The top ten diagnostic businesses in the country have less than twenty branches each. There is an opportunity to consolidate and capture the institutional market, and IDC will be a platform to acquire other diagnostic businesses in other cities.”

Abraaj has acquired a “significant stake” in the business, Moussa said.

The deal was made from Abraaj Growth Markets Health Fund, which Abraaj previously described to PEI as employing a “hub and spoke” investment approach, with the firm acquiring platform facilities such as hospitals and other primary care facilities and adding-on secondary and tertiary care operations in cities.

“Pakistan is growing GDP at more than four percent a year, is the second most populous and growing at two percent and more importantly it is urbanising. People are moving into cities, working in the service sectors and there is growing demand for high quality health services in cities, where our plans are focused,” Moussa said.

Abraaj has invested more than US$1.2 billion globally in 29 investments across healthcare. The firm previously built a diagnostics platform in the Middle East, Integrated Diagnostics Holding, which it listed in 2015 on the London Stock Exchange.