Burjeel operates under multiple labels such as Lifeline and Medeor and has in recent years added significant capacity to its UAE network. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Abu Dhabi investment firm IHC has taken a 15 per cent stake in Burjeel Holdings, rated as the UAE’s biggest privately owned healthcare operator and which recently confirmed a major push into Saudi Arabia.

The IHC stake buy is seen as one of the ‘biggest deals in the Gulf’s healthcare sector in recent years’. The value of the deal has not been disclosed. “We continue to see a tremendous opportunity to invest in mission-driven organizations like Burjeel Holdings,” said Syed Basar Shueb, CEO of IHC, which owns or has stakes in some of Abu Dhabi’s blue-chip entities such as Alpha Dhabi. “We are very pleased with Burjeel's progress in expanding its market positions beyond the UAE.

“Undoubtedly, this new acquisition will add great value to our strong growth platform."

It was recently that Burjeel signed up to a planned $1 billion expansion in Saudi Arabia, but making a point that it will focus on alliances and existing hospital and clinic assets to meet its growth targets.

Burjeel Holdings, which recently chose Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan as brand ambassador for a new Gulf-wide campaign, launched operations in 2007. It has built a network of healthcare assets around the Lifecare, LLH Medeor and Burjeel names, as well as expanded deep into speciality care.

This is the track that the biggest names in the UAE’s healthcare space have been on, and industry sources confirm that tertiary care capacities will see further expansions through the rest of the decade.

"Having IHC onboard has a solid strategic rationale for us, as it will have a transformative impact through the addition of new capabilities, capital, and access to new markets," said Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, CEO, Burjeel Holdings. "This is an exciting time of growth for Burjeel Holdings."