HBI Deals+Insights / M&A/IPOs

Here come the Europeans

Watch out, Emerging Markets. The Europeans are coming.

Take Italy. Some of Italy’s largest domestic players want to expand their portfolios – and rather than looking at home or even to their neighbours across Europe, they have Emerging Markets in their sights.

This week, we report on how Italy’s largest hospital group Kos is teaming up with Apollo Hospitals to open a rehab hospital in Hyderabad.

With a robust, resilient economy – according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – a large population and a fast-growing and increasingly affluent middle-class, it’s little wonder Kos is looking to India.

Consider the economy’s predicted growth. The IMF says India’s economy will grow 7.6% year-on-year in 2016-2017. This compares to an EU forecast of just 1.7%.

Total healthcare expenditure (public and private) was $70bn last year and growing at astonishing rates – perhaps as high as 17% CAGR. But capacity is still lacking.

Perhaps it’s not surprising then that for its first self-managed operation outside Italy, Kos has looked to India.

And Kos is not alone in looking to enticing, distant lands. Italian private Hospital group Gruppo Villa Maria (GVM)’s vice president speaks to us this week about plans to open the group’s first facility in China, and the prospect of moving into Saudi Arabia too.

San Donato, another Italian group, is expanding to Dubai. French groups facing ever lower tariffs are attracted to Morocco and Francophile Africa in general. And as we reported last week, Turkish operator and consultancy Sila Grup is reported to have signed an MoU with the Iranian Ministry of Health

At a time when some see healthcare opportunities in European countries potentially dwindling – particularly in places like Italy and Poland where the current governments appear disinclined to encourage the private sector – we can expect to see more European players making a foray into Emerging Markets in the coming months.

This is what makes our annual conference in London so interesting. Here for instance is our CEO  line up on growing internationally and here is our CEO line up on ehealth. If you are looking at how the sector is internationalising you should join us!

We would welcome your thoughts on this story. Email your views to David Farbrother or call 0207 183 3779.