Sachin Tendulkar enthrals fans in Abu Dhabi as Aster DM Healthcare announces IPO plans

Cricket fans in the UAE were sent wild by the appearance of Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar in Abu Dhabi.

Tendulkar, the highest run-scorer in Test history, was on hand to open Aster DM Healthcare’s 150th pharmacy.

The Dubai-based company announced that it will launch its initial public offering in the third of fourth quarter of this year.

“Mumbai and London, these are the two places we are looking at,” said Dr Azad Moopen, the managing director and chairman, at the opening yesterday in Abu Dhabi of the 150th Aster Pharmacy location worldwide. “We are yet to file the papers, which will be done in the next two to three months.”

He did not rule out a listing of its shares in Dubai.

Dr Moopen did not provide details about the company’s potential valuation or the size of the IPO.

Should Aster list on the London Stock Exchange, it would follow in the footsteps of two Abu Dhabi-based healthcare providers – NMC Health and Al Noor Hospitals Group.

Aster, privately held for now, posted revenues of about US$600 million for last year, with nearly 90 per cent coming from its GCC operations. The UAE is its biggest market and the largest growth comes from Dubai.

On the company’s expansion plans, Dr Moopen said that a 75-bed hospital is being planned for Musaffah and should be ready in a year and half.

Two hospitals under its upmarket Medcare brand are set to open in Sharjah and Dubai this year. Work has also started on a hospital in Qatar, which is also scheduled to open in 18 months’ time.

Spending on health care across the region is expected to hit $60 billion by 2025, according to McKinsey & Co estimates, from about $12bn in 2006.

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Srinivasan Iyer

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