It has been two years since hospital group Netcare announced its exit from the overseas market, with the sale of its UK operations, but the group is not planning any acquisitions outside South Africa and is instead getting creative about finding growth in the local market.
Like its competitors, Mediclinic and Life Healthcare, Netcare has had a tough five years. Its share price declined by more than 65% since 2015, followed by Life Healthcare at just over 50% and Mediclinic at almost 50%. At the heart of their issues were regulations, a tough economy, tariff changes and, most recently, the impact of Covid-19.
The group's exit from the UK marked the end of Netcare's time in the country, which began almost 20 years ago, after it established Netcare UK and later acquired 56% of hospital group BMI Healthcare Group and 56% of its property subsidiary, General Healthcare Group PropCo 2, through a consortium in 2006.