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Mon 29 Oct 2018 12:03 PM

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Thumbay Group searching for equity partners, may go for IPO, says founder

Dr Thumbay Moideen said the company is actively seeking "substantial players"

Thumbay Group searching for equity partners, may go for IPO, says founder
Thumbay Group founder and chairman Dr Thumbay Moideen.

UAE-based Thumbay Group is currently searching for equity partners and may go public by 2023, according to the conglomerate's founder and president Dr Thumbay Moideen.

Speaking to Arabian Business in an exclusive interview, Dr Thumbay said the group’s search for equity partners is “natural” given the company’s rapidly expanding presence in the UAE and internationally.

“[In the past] we’ve simply depended on banks saying they’re ready to fund, but that cannot go on,” he said.

“We are a family-owned business and never used to think [along] those lines. Now, the mindset has changed.

“We think we have to change according to the times if you want to grow and survive in this market,” he added.

Dr Thumbay added that the group is currently searching for “right-minded investors” of a certain calibre.

“They have to be in our line of business to be able to help us, and they have to be substantial players, like sovereign [wealth] funds,” he said. “I will not go with small equity funds.”

He added that if appropriate equity partners are sought, the company is planning to go public by 2023, following the completion of its Strategic Plan 2022.

By this time, according to the company, the group will include three new university campuses in three countries, a hospital network of 1,000 beds in the UAE, 1,500 in India and 750 in the Gulf and Africa, as well as 25 Thumbay Labs, 100 pharmacy outlets, and 25,000 team members, up from the current 5,000.

“We’ll put all this together and it will be a substantial group,” he said. “These new hospitals need to generate income and become full-fledged.”

Established in 1998 with the establishment of Gulf Medical University in Ajman, Thumbay Group is now a business conglomerate with activities in education, healthcare, retail pharmaceuticals and opticals, media, events, publishing, construction and real estate.

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