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Metropolis promoter GSK Velu rules out stake sale in near future

"I still own 38 per cent stake in Metropolis and there is no need to sell my stake at this point of time, as the company is on a growth trajectory", said GSK Velu.

twitter-logo PB Jayakumar        Last Updated: January 14, 2015  | 20:22 IST
Metropolis promoter rules out stake sale in near future

GSK Velu, one of the two founder promoters of pathology laboratory chain Metropolis, will not sell his stake in the company in the near future.

"I still own 38 per cent stake in Metropolis and there is no need to sell my stake at this point of time, as the company is on a growth trajectory and my investments are safe", said Velu, who also promotes the Chennai-based medical equipment major Trivitron, Maxivision super-specialty eye hospitals and Apollo White Dental, a joint venture with the Apollo Group.

Recent reports had said that private equity investor Warburg Pincus would soon exit Metropolis and talks were on to buy out the stake owned by GSK Velu and family, valuing the company between Rs 1,600-2000 crore. The reports had also indicated a strained relationship between the two promoters.

One of the top three pathology laboratory chains, Metropolis was founded by Velu and Dr Sushil Shah in 1998. In 2006, ICICI Venture invested in the company and this stake was bought out by Warburg Pincus. Currently the two promoters own nearly 38 per cent each and the PE firm holds nearly 24 per cent.

Velu was managing director and chief executive of Metropolis till 2010 and this role was subsequently given to Dr Sushil Shah's daughter Ameera Shah.

In a recent interaction, Ameera had said that the chain grew over 300 per cent in the last four years and now has a turnover of Rs 550 crore. Metropolis has 125 laboratories and 750 collection centres.

Velu said Apollo White Dental, promoted by the Apollo group and Chennai based Trivitron Health Care, plans to reach 100 clinics within the next three months. The three year old chain already has over 70 centres in 15 cities.

"It has some Rs 60 crore revenue and we are looking at a unique concept of dental spas", said Velu.

It started a 7 star luxurious dental spa first in Chennai, and now has such facilities in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi. Apollo owns 51 per cent in the venture and Trivitron owns 30 per cent.

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