Gulf Capital taps into MENA's booming healthcare sector

The Abu Dhabi-based firm has acquired a 75% stake in Egypt's TechnoScan as it seeks to create a pan-Middle Eastern medical diagnostic and imaging business.

Gulf Capital has acquired a 75 percent interest in TechnoScan, which operates 15 medical diagnostic imaging centres in the Middle East. Other details of the transaction were not disclosed. 
Established in Egypt in 1995, TechnoScan's centres provide services such as MRI, CT, XRay, ultrasound and mammography. The company is looking to expand its operations in the MENA region by increasing the number of centres it owns through acquisitions and by offering a greater number of services. 

Egypt is the MENA region’s second largest healthcare market after Saudi Arabia, the firm said. Spending on healthcare increased by 22 percent in 2009 and is expected to continue growing rapidly in light of an aging population, greater health awareness, higher incomes and due to an increased incidence of lifestyle-related diseases. Imaging constitutes between 10 percent and 15 percent of private healthcare spending and is also expected to grow substantially, hence requiring greater investments from the private sector, the firm added. 

Healthcare represents a rapidly growing sector, not only in Egypt, but throughout the MENA region.

Karim El Solh

“Healthcare represents a rapidly growing sector, not only in Egypt, but throughout the MENA region. This investment follows our stated strategy of investing in defensive yet high growth sectors that benefit from the regional population growth, increased government spending and increased private sector participation,” Karim El Solh, chief executive officer of Gulf Capital, said in a statement. 

Earlier in February, Gulf Capital signed an agreement with GE Healthcare, the healthcare-focused subsidiary of General Electric, to develop a chain of medical diagnostic and healthcare service centres. TechnoScan will gain substantially from the alliance as GE Healthcare will be offering strategic support to the company and will work closely with the company to help it realise its expansion plans, Gulf Capital said in a statement. 

Gulf Capital is focused on making investments primarily in the GCC region. The firm is presently investing from GC Equity Partners, a $500 million private equity fund. The fund is focused on making significant minority and control investments in sectors such as oil and gas, power and water, healthcare, education and logistics. 

Gulf Capital was established in 2005. Its first third party fund was launched in 2007 and raised $162 million.