Tuesday 24, November 2015

Dubai – MENA Herald: NMC Health plc (LSE:NMC) (‘NMC’ or the ‘Company’), the leading integrated healthcare provider operating across the United Arab Emirates, is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a 51% shareholding in Fakih IVF Group (‘Fakih IVF’) for AED696m (US$189 m). NMC has also agreed a mechanism by which it could increase its stake in Fakih IVF over time, based on certain conditions being met. Based on unaudited management accounts, Fakih IVF generated an EBITDA of US$25m for the nine months ended 30 September 2015, an increase of 20% year-on-year (YoY).

Fakih IVF, which comprises of Fakih IVF LLC and Fakih IVF Fertility Center LLC, is the Middle East market leader for in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) services, performing over 4,000 IVF cycles per annum and offering the only full service genetics laboratory in the region. Fakih IVF currently operates centres in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai and is looking to expand its footprint within the UAE as well as in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. Fakih IVF is expected to open three additional UAE centres during 2016 in Al Ain city, Western region of Abu Dhabi Emirate and Sharjah. Fakih IVF has also achieved considerable progress in its regional expansion plan with IVF centres expected in both Qatar and Oman before year end 2016.

The transaction is aligned with NMC’s Group strategy of establishing the company as a top in-class integrated provider of specialist care across its existing multi-brand and multi-segment healthcare verticals.  This acquisition confirms the NMC Maternity & Fertility vertical’s global market position, as one of the leading international providers of fertility treatment services based on;

  • Scale of its global business and cycle capacity
  • Focused strategic initiative towards raising capabilities and access to care in high growth and under-supplied markets
  • Segment leading treatment capabilities and success rates
  • Diversity and complexity of service offering across the fertility treatment spectrum
  • Established presence and referral centres across regulatory geographies to facilitate one-stop approach for patients

NMC Maternity & Fertility vertical now includes:

  • Brightpoint Royal Women’s Hospital – Most advanced women’s and maternity care hospital in the Middle East
  • Clinica Eugin – Top global fertility care provider based in Europe
  • Fakih IVF (51%) – UAE based Middle Eastern leader with the only full service genetics laboratory in the region

The combination with Fakih IVF is expected to be highly synergistic with significant potential for cross-referral of patients and transfer of best practices and technologies within NMC’s Maternity & Fertility vertical. Patients will have access to an integrated continuum of care with complementing capabilities and coordinated seamless service offering including local IVF treatments of the highest international standards at Fakih IVF, international referral to Clinica Eugin and its wider fertility service offering as permitted by its operational and regulatory environment and NMC’s hospitals, led by Brightpoint, for antenatal, delivery and postnatal services.

Furthermore, this transaction will increase the company’s penetration into the Thiqa insurance segment, which is exclusively comprised of UAE nationals in Abu Dhabi, where fertility treatment is covered.

In addition, fertility treatments are one of the leading drivers of medical tourism in the UAE and the acquisition of Fakih IVF will position NMC as the destination of choice for fertility treatments with a complete service offering delivered by Fakih IVF and Clinica Eugin.

Over 50% of patients treated by Fakih IVF in Dubai are expatriates with over 25% being medical tourists. Approximately 80% of patients treated by Fakih IVF in Abu Dhabi are Emirati nationals covered by Thiqa insurance.

Dr. Michael Fakih, the founder and 100% beneficial owner of Fakih IVF, will remain as a 49% shareholder and Managing Partner in the business, thereby ensuring a smooth transition and limiting any potential integration risk.  Dr. Fakih is also a renowned research professional with over a hundred international publications. He has been instrumental in his professional career for over 20,000 births from infertile couples using only IVF.

Dr. B.R. Shetty, Chief Executive Officer at NMC Health, commented:

“Our acquisition of a major shareholding in Fakih IVF is the logical next step towards achieving NMC’s goal of becoming a global leader in maternity and fertility services. We are particularly excited about growing our in vitro fertilisation service offering within the UAE and look forward to further expand its geographic reach.”