Kochi: Abu Dhabi-headquartered hospital chain VPS Healthcare, owned by radiologist-turned-entrepreneur Shamsheer Vayalil, son-in-law of India-born Middle East tycoon M A Yusuf Ali, is the latest to trigger consolidation moves in the domestic healthcare services sector. VPS, which has built $1-billion revenue operations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the last decade, is in talks with Mumbai's Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital and New Delhi's Rockland Hospitals to acquire some of their units, people familiar with the matter said.
This follows its acquisition of controlling shares in Lakeshore Hospital, a 350-bed multi-specialty service provider in Kochi, last month, which is now being rebranded as VPS Lakeshore. The 39-year-old Vayalil is the latest UAE-based billionaire to chase acquisitions in Indian healthcare, dominated by Dr Prathap C Reddy-led Apollo Hospital Enterprises, Shivinder and Malvinder Singh's Fortis and Ranjan Pai-driven Manipal Hospitals. Other Indian-origin Middle East heavyweights B R Shetty of NMC Healthcare and Azad Moopen of Aster DM Healthcare are also building a local footprint.
"We are in talks with RHL for acquisition of their three hospitals in New Delhi. We are also negotiating with L H Hiranandani for acquisition of one of their hospitals in Mumbai," said S K Abdulla, CEO of Lakeshore Hospital, Kochi, part of VPS Healthcare. When contacted, Vayalil, VPS chairman and MD, confirmed the negotiations without divulging details, as he builds a regional healthcare powerhouse, outside of Yusuf Ali's diversified conglomerate EMKE Lulu Group.
Of Hiranandani's three hospitals in Mumbai, VPS is interested in a project being developed in Thane. "It's a greenfield project with 200 beds and 4.36 lakh sq ft of space. People are talking to us while we are slowly building and VPS is one of them," said Dr Sujit Chatterjee, CEO, L H Hiranandani Hospitals. The Thane hospital is expected to be ready in the next one year.