Pure Health completes acquisition of UK hospital operator Circle Health

The UAE's largest healthcare provider widens its international expansion after investing in US-based Ardent in 2023

Pure Health in August agreed to buy Circle Health, the UK’s biggest private healthcare company, from Centene Corporation, in a deal valued at Dh4.41 billion ($1.2 billion). Photo: Pure Health
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Abu Dhabi-listed Pure Health has completed its Dh4.41 billion ($1.2 billion) acquisition of UK hospital operator Circle Health Group, as the UAE’s largest healthcare group continues to expand.

The company plans acquisitions in local and international markets to build a global healthcare platform, Pure Health said in a statement on Sunday.

The foray into the UK comes after Pure Health's Dh1.8 billion equity investment in Ardent Health Services, the fourth-largest private healthcare group in the US that operates across six states.

“After investing in Ardent Health USA, this is Pure Health’s second international acquisition and we look forward to building our portfolio,” said Hamad Al Hammadi, Pure Health's chairman.

The deal was completed after Pure Health in August said it agreed to purchase Circle Health from US company Centene Corporation, marking its entry into the UK market.

UK healthcare expenditure was around £283 billion ($360.8 billion) in 2022, an increase in nominal terms of 0.7 per cent from spending in 2021, according to preliminary estimates by the UK's Office for National Statistics.

This comes after major growth in healthcare spending in 2020 and 2021 following the coronavirus pandemic, with healthcare spending 26.8 per cent higher in nominal terms, or 13.5 per cent higher after adjusting for inflation, in 2022 compared with 2019.

Circle Health Group operates the UK's largest national network of private hospitals with more than 8,200 employees, 50 hospitals, 2,000 beds, two million visits per year and revenue of about £1 billion, according to its website.

In December, Pure Health raised Dh3.62 billion from its initial public offering on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in an oversubscribed deal. Trading on the ADX began on December 20.

Founded in 2006, Pure Health became the largest healthcare provider in the UAE in January 2022 when it was merged with the healthcare subsidiaries of Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ.

It now has more than 25 hospitals, 100 clinics, diagnostic centres, health insurance firms, pharmacies and health technology platforms.

“Completing the acquisition of Circle is a strategic leap forward for Pure Health. This acquisition is more than an expansion; it's a significant stride towards establishing Pure Health as a global healthcare platform,” Farhan Malik, founder and managing director of Pure Health, said.

“We are not just investing in the future of healthcare, we are shaping it to be more connected, innovative, and accessible on a global scale.”

Updated: January 14, 2024, 4:53 PM