Aster DM Healthcare sells majority in Gulf business to Alpha for $1.01 billion

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Aster DM Healthcare on Tuesday said its board has approved the sale of its business in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to Alpha GCC Holdings Ltd for $1.01 billion, or about Rs 8,400 crore.

Alpha GCC Holdings is owned by the promoters of Aster India and funds managed by Dubai-based Fajr Capital Advisors Limited in the shareholding ratio of 35:65.

Out of the total consideration, $903 million is payable at closing of the deal and up to $98.8 million may be received subsequently, subject to certain contingent events, Aster DM Healthcare said in a statement to stock exchanges.

The deal also includes an earnout of up to $70 million based on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) achieved by the GCC business for the financial year ending March 2024.

Aster DM Healthcare chairman Azad Moopen said the funds received through the sale of GCC business would be distributed as dividend to the shareholders of Aster and a portion of it would go for business expansion in India.

“The whole idea is to give a good dividend to our shareholders, who are waiting patiently for five years… We haven’t given them anything,” he told ET.Aster DM’s board will decide on the quantum of funds to be distributed to the shareholders, he added.Moopen’s family and their associate companies, who are the promoters, hold around 42% stake in Aster DM. The rest is held by public shareholders including institutional investors and retail shareholders.

Moopen said GCC and India business have their own dynamics and require different management bandwidth.

Aster’s GCC business consists of 15 hospitals, 118 clinics and 276 pharmacies, spread across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Jordan.

Revenues from GCC business stood at Rs 8,950 crore in FY23, which constituted 75% of Aster’s revenues. GCC has 23% of Aster’s 6,304 bed capacity.

The market cap of Aster DM stood at Rs 16,616 crore at end of trading on Tuesday.

Aster said it had received requests from bidders during the bidding process for continued promoter participation in the GCC business to ensure its sustainability following the restructuring. The promoters have also expressed their interest in continuing to participate in the GCC business.

Shares of Aster DM Healthcare declined 1.41% to end at Rs 332.65 on the BSE on Tuesday while the benchmark Sensex gained 0.31% to close at 66,174.20 points.

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