Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 7 December 2019

Amanat Holdings plans to invest up to Dh900 million to boost growth

Exclusive: Dubai-based company eyeing expansion in the GCC and Egypt

Dubai listed Amanat Holdings is looking at investing Dh800 to Dh900 million in GCC markets as well as in Egypt, its chief executive Tristan De Boysson said. Pawan Singh / The National
Dubai listed Amanat Holdings is looking at investing Dh800 to Dh900 million in GCC markets as well as in Egypt, its chief executive Tristan De Boysson said. Pawan Singh / The National

Dubai-listed Amanat Holdings plans to invest Dh800 to Dh900 million in the GCC and Egyptian markets over the next few years, as the Dubai-headquartered investment firm, looks to boost growth, its chief executive told The National.

“We are working on several opportunities in the healthcare and education sectors. Our objective is to invest in companies with strong growth potential, and work closely with our portfolio company management teams to maximise value,” said Tristan De Boysson without giving a specific timeline on the investment.

The company currently has Dh500m in cash, which it could deploy on new opportunities in the target markets, and it plans to raise another Dh300m to Dh400m through bank loans.

The company is already in talks with a number of lenders, he added without saying when the company could tap the debt market.

"We deployed up to 80 per cent of the Dh2.5 billion we raised through the IPO [in 2014," Mr De Boysson said. “All investments we made were un-levered and we have the capacity to optimise our capital structure and have more to deploy.”

The company, which specialises in the health and education sector investments, last year made Dh1.2bn worth of investments in four ventures including Abu Dhabi University Holding Company, Middlesex University in Dubai and the real estate assets of North London Collegiate School Dubai. It also invested in Royal Hospital for Women and Children, a specialist hospital in Bahrain which opened its doors in March 2019.

Amanat will continue to focus on its core sectors due to high-growth potential and the pipeline of fresh opportunities they produce, he noted.

“The healthcare sector in the GCC is expected to grow 7 to 8 per cent every year, driven by factors like ageing population and increase in lifestyle diseases like diabetes and obesity.”

Other favourable elements include the introduction of mandatory health insurance in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Saudi Arabia and an encouragement by regional governments for foreign direct investment into these sectors to meet the needs of growing populations, Mr De Boysson said.

“In order to maintain profitability, it is important to become efficient to offer lower prices to patients. We believe that it is possible if you are part of a larger network, which has synergies and economies of scale.”

The company currently has seven assets in its portfolio, three of which are healthcare and remaining education.

During the nine months to September 30, the company reported a 38 per cent year-on-year increase in net profit to Dh33.4m. Revenue at the end of nine-month period stood at Dh89.3m and operating income rose to Dh22.51m, from Dh4.6m during the same period last year, it said in an earnings announcement earlier this month.

The increase in income from investments during the period was led by a strong contribution by the company education platform, driven by a positive performance from Middlesex University Dubai, which the company bought from the liquidators of private equity firm Abraaj Group in June last year. The asset brought in Dh18.3m in income, it said at the time.

Finance lease income from the real estate assets of the North London Collegiate Schools Dubai also brought in Dh20.6m in the nine-month period, it added.

Updated: November 28, 2019 07:29 PM

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