Dubai's Abraaj exits Thai hospital investment

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Dubai-based private equity investor Abraaj said on Tuesday it has exited its investment in Vejthani, a Thailand hospital.

Abraaj said in a statement that it has sold its stake to the South East Asian healthcare chain KPJ Healthcare after acquiring the stake in 2009.

This is the second successful exit in the last six months for Abraaj in the rapidly expanding private healthcare sector, it said.

The Abraaj Group currently has interests in a portfolio of nine hospitals around the world, including India, the Philippines, Kenya and Nigeria.

Last year, the group exited an investment in Malaysian hospital operator IHH Healthcare Berhad.

Abraaj said its investment in Vejthani transformed it from a local general hospital to a multi specialist hospital, growing from seven specialty clinics in 2007 to 22 clinics today.

Vejthani also added 80 new doctors and raised the qualification levels of its clinical staff to better reflect its growing domestic and international clientele, the statement said.

Commenting on the exit, Omar Lodhi, partner and Asia head, The Abraaj Group, said: "Our investment in Vejthani has helped it transform into a specialised hospital with best in class international standards.

"The success of our investment provides further validation of our conviction that quality healthcare is one of the most exciting opportunities across growth markets.

"The emergence of a middle class across growth markets has in our view created permanent demand for quality healthcare, which in many countries cannot be fully addressed by the public sector."

In addition to its hospital portfolio, Abraaj said it has invested in the broader healthcare sector including pharmaceutical and medical devices manufacturers and diagnostic service providers.

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