UPDATE 1-Abraaj Group aims for Cairo Medical Center takeover

Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:36am EDT

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DUBAI, June 19 (Reuters) - Emerging market-focused private equity firm Abraaj Group aims to complete a takeover of Egyptian healthcare firm Cairo Medical Center after announcing plans for a tender offer to shareholders.

The transaction is one of a number of mergers and acquisitions deals underway in Egypt, which is showing signs of renewed life after three years of inactivity due to political turmoil.

Abraaj had said in February that Creed Healthcare Ltd, a firm owned by one of its funds, had agreed to buy 41.98 percent of the 177-bed hospital in east Cairo for 75 Egyptian pounds a share - valuing the business at 202.5 million pounds ($28.3 million).

Such a move, under Egyptian market rules, means the buyer must make an offer to all shareholders, and this was formally announced on Thursday by Abraaj, which said it now had sale pledges from shareholders with 50.09 percent of the company.

No price for the tender offer was given in the statement. Shares in Cairo Medical Center, which trade infrequently, last traded early this month at 76.47 pounds, an all-time high.

For the tender offer to succeed, 51 percent of Cairo Medical Center's shares must be tendered by shareholders. Given the commitments already secured, Abraaj looks likely to meet that level.

Abraaj said it planned a capital expenditure programme which would upgrade the medical facilities, install new equipment and invest in staff training.

"Our investment in Cairo Medical Center fits our wider strategy of supporting resilient and critical industries such as healthcare," said Ahmed Badreldin, partner and head of Middle East and North Africa at Abraaj.

Abraaj, which has around $7.5 billion of assets under management, has investments in hospitals in south Asia, southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, it said. ($1 = 7.1501 Egyptian Pounds) (Reporting by David French; Editing by Andrew Torchia)