Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2nd March 2015: The Abraaj Group, a leading private equity investor operating in global growth markets, today announced the formation of the North Africa Hospital Holdings Group (NAHHG), a healthcare investment platform to enhance the quality and accessibility of health care in Egypt and Tunisia, in partnership with leading development financial institutions – the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Deutsche Investitions- und Entwickungsgesellschaft mbH (DEG), and the Société de Promotion et de Participation pour la Coopération Economique S.A. (Proparco).
The EBRD is making an equity investment of US$ 25 million, DEG and Proparco are providing US$ 15 million each, while The Abraaj Group, with US$ 145 million, will be the main investor in the health care investment platform, through its Funds.
The population of North Africa is expected to reach 190 million by 2020. Driven by the rapidly increasing demand for quality health care services, NAHHG was established to promote and improve the accessibility of healthcare in Egypt and Tunisia by providing high quality patient-centric services.
In addition to addressing supply shortages, NAHHG will use its platform and resources to improve service quality, enhance operational efficiency, invest in the latest medical technology and apply the best global health care practices to local markets. Investing in human capital development, training and skills upgrade would dramatically improve patient-care standards and create employment opportunities across the healthcare sector.
The NAHHG platform encompasses four hospitals to date: Cleopatra Hospital and Cairo Medical Centre in Egypt, and Clinic Taoufik and Clinic La Soukra in Tunisia.
Development and upgrade projects are already underway in these hospitals with initiatives such as: nursing staff training programmes (clinical and soft skills); acquisition of the latest radiology and imaging equipment to improve diagnostic capabilities; upgrades for operating theatres to support new medical procedures; renovation projects for facilities and infrastructure; and preparation for Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation.
Commenting on its investment, Ahmed Badreldin, Partner and Head of Middle East and North Africa at The Abraaj Group, said: “Our investment in the North Africa Hospital Holdings Group is based on our capacity to bring our deep global experience in health care to markets that need and stand to benefit the most from them. Over the past six months, we have set in place several initiatives in each hospital, including soft skills training for staff, upgrading ER and radiology facilities, establishing global governance standards, improving medical services offerings and hiring skilled physicians. By expanding the healthcare platform across North Africa, we are confident in raising the standard for quality and affordable healthcare in the region. We look forward to working closely with our partners to create regional centres of health-care excellence”.
Frederic Lucenet, EBRD Director, Manufacturing and Services, said: “Improving the quality of health care services is a priority for the EBRD and we are very pleased to support this sector for the first time in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region alongside our partners. Through this investment, the EBRD will help to introduce best practices and improve service efficiency in the sector.”
Gunnar Stork, DEG’s Director Equity/Mezzanine, Africa and Latin America, commented on the rationale behind DEG’s investment: “DEG's commitment in Northern Africa is intended to send a signal that the region is an economic area that offers opportunities for investment.”
Claude Périou, Chief Executive Officer of PROPARCO, welcomed this joint operation with the Abraaj Group, DEG and EBRD, which is fully in line with AFD Group’s strategy for operations in the health sector of the southern Mediterranean region. “PROPARCO supports the development of high-quality private provision, tailored to local health challenges, and complementing the work of our parent company, AFD, to strengthen health systems and social protection mechanisms of countries in the region. It is essential to strengthen this provision and mainstream it into national health development strategies in order to establish an effective and equitable health system.”
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