Abraaj taps into Pakistan

The private equity firm Abraaj has invested in Pakistan’s Islamabad Diagnostics Centre (IDC) to tap into growing demand for health care.

The company declined to disclose the size of the stake.

IDC, founded in 2003, operates 20 centres in cities such as Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Wah Cantonment and Hasanabdal in Pakistan.

With the new funds, it expects to grow into a chain with 50 centres in the next five years.

IDC employs about 350 people and has one of Pakistan’s largest pool of radiologists. It is the only diagnostic centre in the capital with round-the-clock imaging and diagnostics services, the company says.

“We have a wider healthcare strategy for Pakistan revolving around building an integrated ecosystem of hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres in key cities such as Islamabad, Kar­achi and Lahore,” said Hisham Moussa, Abraaj Group’s managing director.

“Out-of-pocket spending accounted for over half the ­total health expenditure in the country.”

Rising incomes among Pak­istan’s middle class and a growing population is attracting investors to the sector.

IDC is Abraaj’s fourth investment in the diagnostics space globally and the first in Pakistan. Since 2004, it has invested US$672 million in sectors such as energy, financials, automobiles and utilities around the country.


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