More GPs tap India healthcare

Private equity firms Carlyle and Quadria have made separate investments in Indian hospital businesses.

Adding to string of private equity investments in India’s healthcare sector, The Carlyle Group has invested in Global Health Private Limited, an Indian hospital and healthcare provider, according to a company statement.

From its Carlyle Asia Partners III, it has invested in a minority stake in the business, as well as acquiring a significant equity stake held by Avenue Capital Group. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed and Carlyle declined to comment further.

Global Health operates a 900-bed hospital in Delhi and has plans to expand to over 1,300 beds with Carlyle’s investment. Its hospitals provide specialty care in cardiology, neurology, gastro, liver transplant and orthopedics.

Similarly, Singapore-based healthcare-focused private equity firm Quadria Capital has made a co-investment in Medica Synergie, an Eastern India hospital chain, with DEG and Swedfund, according to a company statement.

Quadria would not confirm if the two co-investors were LPs in their funds, but said it has very good relationships with the institutions. The consortium is not disclosing financial details of the transaction.

Private equity has heavily invested in India’s hospital businesses, which have been largely privatised and lack government funding, Hareesh Nair, vice president at Quadria, told Private Equity International.  

“What has happened particularly in India is that hospitals became privatised, first with Apollo, then with Fortis Group, and then others that went on to raise significant amounts of capital over the past 15 years. Private equity has been the main sponsor of that because the capital markets have not been efficient with bank lending,” Nair said.

These hospital groups continue to receive private equity backing, for example in October, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts offered a $90 million convertible loan to India’s Apollo Hospitals to address the company debt and build more hospitals.

The opportunity in Indian healthcare is largely focused around the lack of infrastructure in the system. India has just nine beds per 10,000 people compared to the global average of 29, according to data from the World Health Organisation, HSBC and the Government of India.

“India has significant room to get to even emerging market standards, but particularly developed market standards. There is a significant need for infrastructure, especially in hospitals,” Nair added.

Quadria is in the midst of raising a $300 million healthcare fund for India and Southeast Asia. The fund reached a first close on $107 million earlier this year, and is expected to make another interim close in the coming months, a source close to the firm told PEI.