Amanat abandons talks to invest in VPS Healthcare

Dubai-based company to continue assessing other opportunities to boost growth

A trader stands in front of a hug screen at the Dubai Financial Market in the Gulf emirate on January 6, 2020, as Gulf bourses were hit by a panicky sell-off amid Iranian vows of retaliation over the US killing of a top general. All seven bourses in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states closed in the red, on the first trading day since the death of powerful military commander Qasem Soleimani. / AFP / Karim SAHIB
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Amanat Holdings, an education and healthcare investment specialist, abandoned talks to buy a stake in VPS Healthcare Group.

The Dubai-based company said "both parties have agreed to stop their discussions in relation to the transaction."

“Amanat will continue to assess other opportunities aligned with its investment strategy to establish platforms that can grow and scale profitably in order to build long-term value for shareholders," the company said in a statement to Dubai Financial Market, where its shares trade.

Founded in 2007 by Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, VPS Healthcare is one of the UAE’s more diversified healthcare firms. It operates more than 20 hospitals and 125 medical centres across the Middle East and India. Dr Vayalil is also the vice chairman and managing director at Amanat but the companies had earlier issued a statement that he would not be a part of the discussions related to the transaction.

Amanat had earlier said a stake in VPS could help it tap a booming healthcare industry within the GCC, which it expects to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.7 per cent by 2022. The company forecasts growth to be supplemented by government spending in the sector, which is set to grow to $30.5 billion (Dh112bn) by 2021.

Amanat reported a 40 per cent rise in its full-year net profit as its income from investments rose and expenses fell.

Net income for the 12-month period ending December 31 climbed to Dh60 million, the company said last month. Total income for the reporting period rose to Dh113.3m, an 8 per cent year-on-year rise.

In November, Amanat's chief executive Tristan de Boysson told The National the company plans to invest as much as Dh900m in GCC and Egyptian markets over the next few years.

At the time, the company said that it had Dh536m in cash, which it could deploy into its target markets and said it planned to raise a further Dh300m-Dh400m through bank loans.