190127 al qusasi aster
Aster DM has built up significant capacity in the UAE healthcare space. It is also a major investor in Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai-based private equity firm Fajr Capital is part of a consortium seeking to buy a majority stake in Aster DM Healthcare Ltd.’s Gulf business, according to people familiar with the matter.

The group includes other Middle Eastern investors and talks are at an advanced stage, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information isn’t public. The potential deal may carry a value of about $500 million, the people said.

Discussions are ongoing and there’s no certainty they’ll lead to a transaction, the people said. A representative for Fajr declined to comment and a representative for Aster wasn’t immediately available to comment.

Aster shares were up about 3 per cent in Mumbai on Friday.

Story of Dr. Azad Moopen
“India is not giving that value to the GCC business, it’s giving discount to the GCC business,” Moopen said at the time. “We would like this to be seen separately, so that is something we are looking at.”

The firm, which operates hospitals, as well as hundreds of clinics and pharmacies across India and the Gulf region, has been working with advisers to hive off its Mideast business, Chairman Azad Moopen told Bloomberg in 2021.

All relevant information related to the group re-organisation and investors refresh for the GCC business has been reported to the stock exchange in accordance with applicable law. While we don’t comment on market speculation related to names of companies, financial value, timelines etc., we would like to clarify that any information circulating around this subject does not accurately capture the terms or nature of the proposed reorganisation.

- Aster DM Healthcare said in an official statement to Gulf News

Aster has been expanding in India and plans to add hundreds of hospital beds in the South Asian nation. More than half of Aster’s hospitals are in the country, but that market accounts for just about a quarter of its revenue.