Adani intends to invest $4 billion on healthcare

Top executives of the company, which operates businesses ranging from airports to seaports, recently met with a number of foreign financial institutions and i

According to two people familiar with the group's plans, Gautam Adani, the world's fifth-richest person, is lining up significant investments in the health-care sector and may acquire significant hospitals, diagnostic chains, and offline and digital pharmacies, among other assets, to establish a foothold in the sector.


Top executives of the company, which operates businesses ranging from airports to seaports, recently met with a number of foreign financial institutions and international non-public equity investors to discuss the company's plans in the healthcare sector, according to the people, who asked to remain anonymous because the programmes are confidential.

"The Adani Group is in conversations with a handful of globally famous names in the health-care sector for a joint venture or a tie-up for the India market," one of the two people claimed. "The company has set aside up to $4 billion in a mix of debt and equity for the tiny firm and is in talks with dealers and creditors to establish a long-term funding strategy." An email sent to an Adani Group spokeswoman went unanswered until Sunday afternoon, when we went to print.


"Adani has seen healthcare as a significant opportunity and is eager to consolidate the space, which remains fragmented with the market dominated by local and regional players, many of which are competing for a variety of reasons," said the next person. "There is also a significant amount of private equity capital involved in the health-care industry, a significant portion of which is ripe for exit and could provide a purchasing opportunity for the group," the source added.

A number of factors are driving the rise of the Indian healthcare sector, including abysmally low clinic beds per 1,000 people, a rising number of people over 60, a large middle-class population, and an increase in lifestyle health issues. "The team is eager to expand a line of customer-dealing with businesses, and the healthcare venture is part of the strategy," said the first individual. The government has implemented a number of policies to encourage investment in the health-care industry, including output-linked incentive schemes to enhance domestic production of prescription medications and healthcare items.

In the previous two years, the domestic health-care sector, particularly the on-line pharmacy sector, has seen a spike in mergers and acquisitions. Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries bought a majority share in online pharmacy Netmeds (Vitalic Health and Fitness Pvt. Ltd) for 620 crore in August 2020. Tata Digital Ltd, a unit of Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd, acquired a majority share in digital health and fitness firm and e-pharmacy 1MG Technologies Pvt. Ltd in June last year.


In the previous thirty days, API Holdings, the parent company of online pharmaceutical store Pharmeasy, paid 4,546 crore for a controlling share in Thyrocare Systems. Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, launched its on-line pharmacy in India in August. Adani Group, which was founded in 1988 and with a revenue of more than $20 billion, is one of India's greatest corporate empires. It can be found in power, renewable energy, infrastructure, food processing, and airports. The group is one of the main competitors for Swiss cement maker Holcim Group's India operations—Ambuja Cements Ltd and ACC Ltd—with the two units valued at between $10 and $15 billion.

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