PEs pump 300 crore more into Vasan Healthcare

MUMBAI: Vasan Healthcare, which operates eye care and dental hospitals across the nation, is raising $50 million (Rs 300 crore) in fresh funds from its existing investors Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), Sequoia Capital and WestBridge Capital. This values the chain at over $600 million (Rs 3,600 crore), people familiar with the development told Times Of India.

The fund-raise is being done through a rights issue — an issue of shares offered at a special price by a company to its existing shareholders — and will see Vasan’s promoter A M Arun also participate, sources added.

The promoter currently holds about 55% in the Chennai-headquartered company while the three investors together hold the rest of the shares in the healthcare chain. Prior to the rights issue, GIC had invested $100 million in Vasan almost two years ago, while Sequoia and WestBridge had together put in $50 million across three rounds of funding.

Sources said Vasan had drawn interest from a few strategic investors, but it may eventually opt for a public offering over the next year or so. The rights issue was pre-determined during the last round of funding, when GIC had invested, if the company met performance milestones, sources said.

The $50 million of fresh funds will be used for expanding the reach of the chain as the group looks to diversify into other areas of healthcare.

Calls and text messages sent by TOI to Vasan’s CMD Arun went unanswered while Sequoia and WestBridge declined to comment.

Founded in 2002, the Vasan group opened its first eye care hospital in Trichy and has since expanded across the country. At present, it runs 200 eye care centres and more than 50 dental hospitals, clocking over Rs 1,000 crore in revenue.

Financial investors have backed the expansion plans of India’s emerging healthcare chains by pouring in big bucks over the past few years. The next phase may see a few of these ventures being sold to strategic buyers or they may hit the public markets as investors look to make returns on their investments.


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