ETF News

TPG-backed Evercare eyes expansion of ex-Abraaj healthcare business

DUBAI, Sept 13 (Reuters) - TPG-backed Evercare, which took over the management of hospitals and clinics previously managed by a fund of scandal-hit Abraaj, plans to expand its presence in its five key markets by adding more clinics and diagnostic centres, its chief executive said.

The aim is to boost coverage to six million patients by 2025, from four million in Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, CEO Massimiliano Colella told Reuters in an interview.

“There is still an opportunity to further expand care and increase the reach in the five countries we operate in,” Colella said.

“We are discussing with TPG on how to expand and we are looking at different options.”

Evercare is wholly-owned by the Evercare Health Fund, a $1 billion emerging markets healthcare fund managed by the impact investment platform of buyout firm TPG.

It currently owns 30 hospitals, 16 clinics and 82 diagnostic centres.

In 2019, TPG took over the management of the healthcare fund from Abraaj, once the Middle East and North Africa’s biggest buyout funds, which collapsed following a row with investors over the use of money in the healthcare fund.

Evercare has taken a number of steps to improve governance such as changing leadership, investing in finance and information technology, hiring a general counsel, Bart Wilms, and creating compliance and audit committees at hospitals.

“We ended up in changing more than 70% of the leaders around the organisation,” said Colella, who has previously worked at Smith & Nephew and Johnson & Johnson.

“We need people who are able to drive the cultural part of this mission, impact part of the story ... it is more about leadership skills than operational skills.”

Currently staffing at the organisation has risen to 11,000 from 9,000 when it was taken over from the Abraaj fund, he said.

Colella said Evercare’s diagnostic centres were largely concentrated in Pakistan, where their number has almost doubled in the last 20 months, as it is a successful business with a good local partner.

“We saw the opportunity to invest more during COVID,” he said. (Reporting by Saeed Azhar Editing by Mark Potter)