UAE's Pure Health invests $500m in US healthcare firm Ardent

Ardent Health Services is the fourth-largest private hospital operator in the US, with operations across six states

Pure Health has acquired a stake in Ardent from Equity Group Investments. Photo: Pure Health
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Pure Health, the UAE’s largest healthcare group, has announced a minority equity investment of $500 million in US-based Ardent Health Services, as it seeks to expand its operations in the US market.

The company has entered into a definitive purchase agreement with Equity Group Investments, a Chicago-based private investment firm and majority owner of Ardent, for the acquisition, the Abu Dhabi company said in a statement on Sunday.

The move will give Pure Health board observer rights, although not a seat on Ardent’s board of directors. The investment also "does not include plans for either the expansion of Ardent’s physical footprint or collaboration between Ardent and Pure Health in the delivery of care", it said.

Nashville, Tennessee-based Ardent is the fourth-largest privately held acute care hospital operator in the US, with 30 hospitals, more than 200 sites of care across six states and approximately 26,000 employees.

The agreement is a "quantum leap" for the UAE and the global healthcare industry, Farhan Malik, chief executive of Pure Health, said.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Pure Health, as we continue to build relationships with leading US healthcare providers to leverage the highest standards and best clinical practices to provide an unrivalled healthcare experience for patients in the UAE,” Mr Malik said.

Investments into the healthcare sector have been growing amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which provided a shot in the arm for pharmaceutical, long-term care centres and diagnostic services.

"We look forward to developing a productive relationship with Pure Health as they continue to explore the various dynamics of the US healthcare system,” Sam Zell, founder and chairman of EGI, said.

The investment is subject to customary closing conditions and will be finalised after receiving the necessary US regulatory approvals, Pure Health said.

In January, Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ signed a deal to merge its healthcare subsidiaries, including Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, better known as Seha, and the National Health Insurance Company (Daman) with Alpha Dhabi’s Pure Health to create the UAE’s largest healthcare provider.

ADQ also merged its healthcare entities Rafed and Union71 with Pure Health last year.

Pure Health owns 28 hospitals, 100 clinics and more than 160 laboratories across the UAE, Ahmed Al Bastaki, chief commercial officer of Rafed, told The National in June.

The company has also committed to spend Dh10 billion ($2.72bn) over the next 10 years on procuring products in the UAE and supporting the country's economy, it said earlier this year.

Updated: September 04, 2022, 11:33 AM
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