CDC backs India healthcare firm

The London-based DFI has invested $48m in Narayana Health to boost the company’s expansion efforts

UK development finance institution CDC Group has invested $48 million in Indian multi-specialty healthcare provider, Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospitals, according to a statement.

The business operates as a chain of hospitals across India, under the brand name Narayana Health (NH), providing affordable healthcare focusing on cardiac, cancer and other super-specialty tertiary care treatments.

NH was founded in 2000 and is now the country’s third largest hospital chain, according to the firm. CDC’s investment is intended to help the company build or expand hospitals in cities including Kolkata, Lucknow, Bhubaneshwar and Bangalore. It treats more than 13,500 cardiac surgery patients each year, as well as 200,000 inpatients and 1.5 million outpatients.

“CDC aims to invest in businesses that create jobs and provide services and economic opportunity in poorer regions of India. Narayana Health’s commitment to extend healthcare to the low income states of India and to reduce the cost of that care made it an ideal partner,” Srini Nagarajan, CDC’s head of South Asia, said in a statement.

“The company leads the low-cost healthcare market in India with a mission to continually drive down the cost of care. Around half of its patients receive financial support to receive treatment, either from NH themselves or through government schemes. It is this development impact, along with significant expected job growth, that makes NH such a compelling case for CDC’s investment.”

CDC Group is a highly active investor in India, through both private equity funds and direct investments.

For example, in December, the firm committed $30 million to the $200 million agriculture vehicle backed by India’s Rabobank, Rabo India Agribusiness Fund II, which is nearing its first close, Private Equity International reported earlier.

Other direct investments the firm has made include the $27.5 million of equity invested in India-based Jabong as part of the e-commerce business' latest funding round in February last year, and a partnership with The Abraaj Group to make an equity investment of $17.5 million in Rainbow Hospitals, an Indian healthcare chain planning to expand from the state of Andhra Pradesh to other parts of the country in August 2013.