UAE's Pure Health buys UK’s largest private healthcare group for $1.2bn

The move marks the arrival of the Emirates' largest healthcare group into the UK

Brent Layton (left), senior advisor of Centene Corporation, and Farhan Malik, managing director and group chief executive of Pure Health. Photo: Pure Health
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Pure Health, the UAE’s largest healthcare group, has agreed to purchase the UK’s biggest private healthcare company, Circle Health, from Centene Corporation, in a deal valued at Dh4.41 billion ($1.2 billion).

The acquisition marked Pure Health’s first entry into the UK market, the company said in a statement on Monday.

“Our mission at Pure Health is to drive scientific innovation to unlock longevity and greater quality of life for humankind,” Farhan Malik, managing director and group chief executive of Pure Health, said.

“Through integrating the expertise of both organisations, we positively impact the lives of patients globally.”

Total current healthcare expenditure in the UK in 2020 was about £258 billion ($326 billion), accounting for 12 per cent of gross domestic product, compared with nearly 10 per cent in 2019, according to the latest data from the UK's Office for National Statistics.

UK healthcare expenditure grew by about 16 per cent in nominal terms in 2020, or 10 per cent in real terms, adjusting for inflation; this was the fastest growth rate recorded during the time series, which started in 1997, according to the government agency.

In January last year, 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 Emirates' largest healthcare provider.

ADQ merged its healthcare entities, Rafed and Union71, with Pure Health in 2021.

Pure Health now has a network of more than 25 hospitals, 160 laboratories, 100 clinics and a workforce of more than 24,000 employees.

In June last year, Pure Health committed to spend Dh10 billion over the next 10 years on procuring products in the UAE and supporting the country's economy.

The company recently completed a Dh1.8 billion purchase of an equity investment in Ardent Health Services, which is the US’ fourth-largest private healthcare group operating across six states.

In October, the company said it is looking to cutting-edge science to help people live longer than they do today – with a target of 101 years for all.

“This acquisition is a major milestone for our associate company, Pure Health Holding, and we are confident that it will position us for continued growth and success,” said Hammad Al Ameri, chief executive and managing director of Abu Dhabi-listed Alpha Dhabi Holding.

Founded in 2004, Circle Health comprises more than 8,200 employees and 6,500 consultants, working in more than 60 specialities, in more than 50 hospitals across the UK.

With more than two million visits per annum, Circle Group drove more than Dh4.7 billion in revenue, according to an official statement.

As part of the latest acquisition, Pure Health will gain 100 per cent of the company’s portfolio.

"Circle Health … has had a significant impact for the benefit of patients across the UK. We are confident that this business will continue to thrive – providing access to high-quality care and delivering improved clinical outcomes under the ownership of Pure Health,” said Sarah London, Centene Corporation’s chief executive.

Updated: August 29, 2023, 3:43 AM