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Abraaj Group agrees to buy majority stake in India's 5th largest healthcare provider

PRIVATE equity investor Abraaj Group on Wednesday says it has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Quality CARE India Ltd from global private equity firm Advent International, through one of Abraaj's funds.

The transaction is expected to conclude in the first quarter of 2016.

Headquartered in the city of Hyderabad, CARE is the fifth largest healthcare provider in India, operating 2,600 beds across 16 hospitals in nine cities.

Abraaj and CARE's management team will focus on expanding the integrated healthcare delivery system, particularly in the underpenetrated regions of India.

The partnership will also bring CARE's delivery platform to other markets where Abraaj operates.

The CARE Foundation, CARE's education, training and rural community outreach programme, will also be scaled up and expanded to develop and train high-calibre nurses, technicians, physiotherapists and community health workers.

Said Sev Vettivetpillai, partner and global head of Abraaj's thematic funds business: "The implications of the healthcare gap in India are profound, but they translate into a long-term opportunity for Abraaj to help build a better and more sustainable healthcare infrastructure in the country. Led by dedicated founders and a strong management team, CARE has been a pioneer in providing quality healthcare to middle- and low-income patients in India, and has the potential for further expansion domestically and internationally."

B Soma Raju, founder of CARE, is confident Abraaj will enhance the healthcare provider's service offerings. "These relationships will play a key role in enhancing public-private partnerships that are essential to the development of sustainable healthcare systems in India."

Founded in 1997 by Dr B Soma and a core group of professionals, CARE has treated more than six million outpatients and over one million inpatients, a majority of which are from middle- and low-income groups in underserved second-tier cities in India.

The Abraaj Group has deployed nearly US$1 billion globally in 27 investments across the healthcare spectrum in growth markets.