Kochi's Aster DM Healthcare, promoted by Dubai-based Indian healthcare billionaire Dr Azad Moopen, is planning a massive expansion to emerge as one of leading healthcare providers in India.
Aster, with installed bed capacity of 3,983 across 11 multispecialty hospitals in the country, is planning to build or expand five hospitals within the next four years. It will lead to an additional capacity of 1,372 beds in Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Kannur and Kozhikode. Currently, industry-leading healthcare chain Apollo has 10,000-plus beds, followed by Fortis Healthcare with an installed capacity of about 5,000 beds. Global chain Parkway is also expanding its operations in India in the tertiary healthcare space.
While the Thiruvananthapuram facility of Aster will be a large, multispecialty hospital with 750 beds, much like its 640-bed flagship Aster Medcity in Kochi, the rest of the facilities will be 200-220-bed units.
"Many of these projects are in various stages of development, and our focus of expansion will be mainly Tier-I and Tier-II cities in southern and western India," Moopen told Business Today.
Aster, which generated nearly 84 per cent of its Rs 5,967 crore revenue in 2016-17 from its businesses in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, operates seven hospitals with a total capacity of 668 beds, 96 clinics and 202 pharmacies in the GCC region. Aster is also planning to build or expand three multispecialty hospitals in the UAE for a total additional capacity of 245 beds. Aster DM Healthcare's overseas operations are under a Mauritius-based subsidiary called Affinity Holdings.
Aster will soon go for an initial public offering (IPO) and has got approval for the same from the market regulator Sebi. "It is early to divulge the IPO details. Funds will be used to reduce debt and partly for the expansion," said Moopen.
According to market sources, Aster is planning to raise about Rs 1100 crore from the IPO. Aster DM Healthcare has a debt of nearly Rs 2,800 crore, mainly accumulated from its large-scale expansion in India.
Moopen, with an estimated net worth of $1.1 billion according to Forbes and one of the richest NRIs in the Middle East, holds 51.47 per cent stake in the company. Private equity firm Olympus Capital has 26.18 per cent stake while PE firm IVF holds 11.54 per cent.