UAE’s Gulf Capital to expand Medica Holding following majority stake acquisition

Private equity firm brokering two joint ventures in Africa and Saudi Arabia, and further investments

Karim El Solh, chief executive of Gulf Capital, at the firm's office in DIFC. Satish Kumar/ For the National 
Karim El Solh, chief executive of Gulf Capital, at the firm's office in DIFC. Satish Kumar/ For the National 

Gulf Capital, the private equity firm that manages more than $3 billion, acquired a 70 per cent stake in regional health aesthetics firm Medica Holding and plans to enter into joint ventures as well as other investments as the company looks to expand.

“Gulf Capital has been particularly active over the last 18 months, with the successful closure of eight new and follow-on investments,” said Karim El Solh, chief executive of Gulf Capital, in a statement to media on Monday. “This latest investment cements our strategy of acquiring majority stakes in market leaders in fast growing sectors.”

The GCC health aesthetics market is projected to grow 15 per cent annually against 10 per cent growth globally, presenting significant opportunities for expansion in this field, he said, citing a report commissioned by Gulf Capital in the last quarter by Health Advances and Transparency Market Research.

Medica provides health aesthetics, cosmetics and dermatology equipment and services across the Middle East. Following completion of the deal, the intention is to expand Medica in the region and beyond, especially in emerging markets in Asia, South-East Asia and Africa.

The parties are in talks to form two joint ventures – one in Saudi Arabia and one in Africa – to enable them do this, Mr El Solh told The National. In addition, Gulf Capital expects to conclude two bolt-on majority stake deals in pharmaceutical distribution firms to expand coverage of Medica’s products and services, before the end of this year.

Founded in 1999 Medica has a portfolio of 20 brands across 12 countries, with products ranging from equipment, injectables, cosmetics and para-pharmaceuticals.

Gulf Capital’s investment was made through its $750 million GC Equity Partners Fund III, which is now around two-thirds deployed, according to Mr Solh.

Healthcare investments constitute 15-20 per cent of the fund's deployed capital, as the firm seeks new opportunities in companies that lie at “the cross section between consumer and social infrastructure healthcare [hospitals], such as medical technology, diagnostic imaging, aesthetics and more”, he said.

Globally investors are increasingly interested in the healthcare sector, as demand for quality medical services rises due to population growth and the expansion of mandatory insurance coverage in the GCC.

Updated: May 28, 2019 01:21 AM


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