Green light for Netcare’s R1.3bn Akeso buy

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Cape Town - The Competition Tribunal, supported by the Competition Commission, has approved the R1.3bn acquisition of Akeso Clinics by private healthcare group Netcare [JSE:NTC].

Netcare will make use of existing resources to fund the acquisition.

Akeso Clinics consists of a group of 12 dedicated mental healthcare facilities. The proposed transaction, which was first announced on 21 November 2016, will proceed as planned, Netcare and Akeso said in a joint statement on Monday.

Akeso has 811 beds in facilities located in Cape Town, George, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Nelspruit, Umhlanga and Pietermaritzburg.

Netcare CEO Dr Richard Friedland said the company is continuously exploring ways to improve its service offering to patients and has recognised the growing demand for mental healthcare services in South Africa.

The acquisition of Akeso, therefore, provides Netcare with a strong platform from which to expand its mental health services in SA.

Allan Sweidan, co-founder and managing director of Akeso Clinics, will continue to manage the business within Netcare.

Sweidan said the acquisition by Netcare will enable an additional investment in what he regards as an already successful model for the delivery of mental healthcare, while assisting Akeso to further expand its existing footprint. He regards it as a strategically important step for Akeso.

The transaction was subject to various regulatory approvals, including Netcare’s disposal of the Netcare Rand and Netcare Bell Street hospitals.

Friedland said these two hospitals will continue to function as usual for the foreseeable future, while a process to dispose of them will start.

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