Ithmar launches UAE healthcare platform

The Dubai-based private equity firm is teaming up with government organisations, financial institutions and family offices to create Enaya, which it wants to be the UAE’s largest healthcare service provider. The company plans to deploy $1.2bn for add-on acquisitions.

Middle East-focused private equity firm Ithmar Capital has made its fifth investment from Ithmar Capital Fund II to set up Enaya, a platform company providing healthcare services in the UAE.

The firm plans to make Enaya the largest healthcare provider in the UAE through mergers and acquisitions of other healthcare providers in the country, Faisal Belhoul, founder and managing partner of Ithmar, said in an interview.

Enaya has already put together partnerships with a few healthcare groups and is finalising deals with more, said Belhoul. The partners will be key stakeholders in the business, he added.

Enaya is expected to deploy about $1.2 billion for mergers and acquisitions. Belhoul declined to comment on Ithmar’s

 Faisal Belhoul

commitment to Enaya, but said that the amount has not been finalised yet and will be determined by how many partnerships the company can enter into. The funding is being led by Ithmar and other co-investors which include government organisations, financial institutions and family offices. Contributions are also being made by hospital owners that are merging with Enaya.

Of the $1.2 billion, $800 million will be raised in equity and $400 million will be funded through debt. Presently, the first tranche of $400 million is being funded by Ithmar and its co-investors. The second tranche of $400 million worth of equity will either be financed by existing investors or through an IPO, Belhoul said.

Enaya will set up operations in one country at a time, Belhoul said.

Ithmar Fund II is a $250 million vehicle from which the firm will make one more investment in the coming months.

The firm is preparing to launch the its third fund in the first quarter of 2009. The $1 billion Ithmar Fund III will acquire minority or control positions primarily in the oil and gas, construction, healthcare and education sectors.