UAE healthcare firm Avivo to raise $500m in London float

The United Arab Emirates-based healthcare firm Avivo Group aims to list in London next March and raise around $500 million from the offering, its chairman told Reuters.

The company is the latest from the emirates' burgeoning healthcare sector to seek a listing in Britain.

Avivo Group has 43 healthcare outlets, including hospitals, clinics and dentistry services, the majority of which are in the UAE but also in Kuwait.

"We're planning nine months from now, end of March," Chairman Shailesh Dash said of the initial public offering, adding the listing will combine both shares from current investors and also new shares to provide funding to the company.

The company will select banks in the first week of September to arrange the IPO, he said.

Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank assisted the company in arranging a round of pre-IPO funding to bring in new investors, so they are "some of the favourites" to be mandated on the flotation, Dash said in an interview.

However, there were other banks looking to be chosen as arrangers and a pitching process to review applications was ongoing, he said.

The company could choose to bring in other professional investors before the listing or as cornerstone investors as part of the offering, Dash said. Avivo announced in May an investment by IDB Infrastructure Fund II, a fund sponsored by the Islamic Development Bank.

Avivo is seeking to expand its operations into other Gulf countries, including Qatar and Oman by the end of this year, by opening new facilities and also via acquisitions.

It announced last week it had purchased a majority stake in Kalium Group, which specialises in aesthetic medical procedures and distributing medical supplies.

The UAE healthcare sector has experienced substantial growth in recent years as an increasingly wealthy population becomes more susceptible to lifestyle diseases such as diabetes.

Two other healthcare firms from the emirates have listed in London in recent years: NMC Health and Al Noor Hospitals, which was merged earlier this year with Mediclinic International.