Apollo Hospitals Enterprises (AHEL) is planning to raise around Rs 1,500 crore in the next two months to support its inorganic growth and strengthen balance sheet and its digital platform.
It’s an “indicative figure, not definite”, Suneeta Reddy, managing director, Apollo Hospitals Group, said. The money, Reddy said, will be deployed in Apollo 24/7, the company’s six-month-old digital health platform, and in supporting growth in the hospital business and deleveraging the balance sheet.
“We are also prepared for any bolt on acquisitions that would strengthen our presence in key markets that we have identified,” she said. The hospital chain is looking at a few small-ticket acquisitions — 300 beds in larger cities and 200 beds in smaller ones — to expand its presence, mainly in the northern and eastern parts of the country.
Apollo recently signed a definitive share-purchase agreement with IHH, its joint venture partner in Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, Kolkata (AGHL), to acquire its existing 50 per cent in AGHL for a cash consideration of Rs 410 crore. Meanwhile, Apollo is targeting around Rs 10,000 crore revenue from Pharmacy business and plans to add another 1,200 outlets in the next four to five years.
The pharmacy business is one the main segments that helped Apollo cushion from any big shocks due to the pandemic. The business grew by around 15 per cent to Rs 1,351.9 crore during the September quarter from Rs 1,172.7 crore a year ago. During the same period, health care services contracted 18 per cent year-on-year led by mature hospitals (25 per cent decline). New hospitals grew 5 per cent YoY.
Both the management and analysts agree with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 22 per cent over the past five years, and the pharmacy business (43 per cent of FY20 revenues) remains a growth engine for Apollo. Analysts value Apollo’s pharmacy business at a little over Rs 11,000 crore.
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