Dubai-based operator of pharmacies and hospitals, Aster DM Healthcare, Ltd. has announced expanding its reach across the states of India. In this aspect, the company has declared its plans of seeking to issue about USD 400 million of securities potentially within the next three to six months.
According to official sources, Aster is looking to expand prolifically across the Indian states, launching at least four hospitals in the continent in the next four years. Moreover, reports have it that the funding for Aster’s potential expansion drive will come from internal capital and the firm does not have plans of raising or securing funds externally, as of now.
Chairman of Aster DM Healthcare, Azad Moopen, while speaking on the novel move, mentioned that the company has begun the discussion with bankers pertaining to the bond issue. Although, the firm had laid down its plans of sale in 2020 itself but did not go ahead with it because of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak worldwide.
Moopen added that Aster is looking up to India, with a population of 1.4 billion people, to account for about one-third of the company’s business. The growth would prominently come from pent-up desire for high-quality medical services, reconciling a huge demand-supply gap.
It would be essential to note that Aster currently has only about three pharmacies in India. However, it is planning a dynamic surge to 150 by the next financial year 2022, and a similarly paced expansion every.
It has been speculated that this move would also benefit the healthcare industry of India, which currently spends only about 1.28% of the GDP on public health. Given to this condition, the Prime Minster of the country, Narendra Modi had promised in his first term to increase this GDP number to 2.5% by the end of 2025.
Besides, in light of the post coronavirus effects, which exposed urgent shortfalls in public health, Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman, in January this year had allocated a 137% hike in health spending in the country’s budget.