Fridman's LetterOne expands into healthcare in United States

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s LetterOne (L1) fund said on Monday it has launched L1 Health unit in the United States and is targeting up to $2-3 billion of investments in the global healthcare sector over the next three years.

The fund has been actively expanding abroad, investing in energy assets and other sectors, including the U.S. ride-hailing service provider Uber Technologies Inc.

Fridman pocketed about $12.5 billion after selling his stake in Anglo-Russian oil producer TNK-BP three years ago to Kremlin-controlled Rosneft ROSN.MM. He has said he wants to turn LetterOne into a major international player.

Neither Fridman nor LetterOne were ever subject to international sanctions over the Ukrainian crisis and the billionaire is not seen as particularly close to the Kremlin.

On Monday, L1 said Franz Humer, currently chairman of spirits maker Diageo Plc DGE.L, has been appointed to L1 health investment advisory board with immediate effect.

L1 Health is already looking at various investment opportunities and establishing the business. It is recruiting an investment team and additional members of its advisory board, the company said.

It also said ageing populations and rising healthcare costs in the United States and Western Europe, which are expected to increase 5.2 percent globally over 2014-2018, “are increasing the need for greater efficiency in healthcare delivery”.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Mark Heinrich