By Nick Hedley
Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board has agreed to acquire a “significant majority stake” in Sahyadri Hospitals Group, the largest private hospital chain in the populous Indian state of Maharashtra.
This is Ontario Teachers’ first control private equity buyout in India, and its fourth major investment in the country over the past 12 months. Ontario Teachers’ has net assets of $242.5 billion and offices in Hong Kong, London, San Francisco, Singapore and Toronto.
The deal is also the latest in a string of investments in the healthcare sector. The fund recently invested in Asia Pacific Healthcare Group, which is New Zealand’s largest pathology network, and in dental group Abano Healthcare, as well as Acorn Health, a U.S. provider of applied behavior analysis therapy for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
“We believe we can leverage our significant global experience in the healthcare sector to help scale [Sahyadri] into a national healthcare provider in the coming years,” said Raju Ruparelia, senior managing director for Asia-Pacific private capital at Ontario Teachers’.
Ontario Teachers’ will buy the stake from Singaporean investment manager Everstone Group, which will retain a minority stake in Sahyadri, along with key management and founders.
Sahyadri has eight hospitals, mainly around the city of Pune, with about 900 operating beds and 300 critical-care beds, and plans to add another 500 beds over the next five years. It employs 2,000 clinicians and 2,600 supporting staff.
Sahyadri is the largest multi-specialty healthcare service provider in the western India corridor, and operates a hub-and-spoke model, the groups said in a joint statement.
"We look forward to partnering with the company’s founders, Dr. Charudutt Apte, Sadanand Bapat and Nitin Desai, as well as the management team and Everstone to support the business as it enters its next stage of growth,” Ruparelia said.
Sahyadri CEO Abrarali Dalal said the group would expand into other parts of western India and would set up “some of the most advanced and exemplary clinical practices in India.”
Founder Dr. Charudutt Apte said Sahyadri is working to make healthcare more accessible and affordable in the country.
Everstone managing director Puncham Mukim said the Singaporean firm assisted in making “several operational improvements for patients and doctors, transforming the business and creating significant value for all stakeholders.”