International private equity firm, C&C Alpha Group (CCAG), owned by India-born businessman Mr. Sudhir Choudhrie, has announced the sale of its UK-based hospital chain Alpha Hospitals to Cygnet Healthcare of the parent group, Universal Health Services (UHS), for Rs 970 crore.
According to CCAG promoter and executive director, Bhanu Choudhrie, the decision was inspired by the group’s plans to focus on India and the superior healthcare and hospitality opportunities it offered. Underlining their future investment plans, he said the group sought to invest about Rs 1,500 crore in healthcare and hospitality sectors over the next three years in India.
“We have planned to add about 1,800 rooms in India in the next 3-5 years under three brands — Hyatt, Four Points, and Aloft Hotels — to take its total strength to about 3,000 rooms,” Choudhrie said. “The group is also building a 200-bed super specialty hospital in South Delhi for which it has already acquired the land,” he added.
Alpha Hospitals is the largest purveyor of behavioural care services for adults and adolescents in England and is defined by its state-of-the-art facilities in Bury, Sheffield and Woking. For the financial year ended March 2014, it had registered a turnover of £42.1 million and was the largest provider of advanced psychiatric care in England. With the acquisition, the Cygnet family has now expanded to a total of 21 hospitals and approximately 1,100 beds in the UK.
After former CEO of Florence Nightingale Hospitals, Patricia Hodgkinson, launched Alpha Hospitals in 2002, CCAG –which typically invests £2-40 million per transaction and takes a mid-to-long term view of its investments–incubated and invested in it for 13 years.
Its diverse investment portfolio includes a 10% stake in the US-based Customer Bank. The bank, listed on NYSE under the symbol CUBI, has assets valued at $1.86 billion and market capitalisation of $671 million.
CCAG has a management contract with the Hyatt group to manage five of the latter’s hotel properties in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and Amritsar with an aggregated capacity of 1,200 rooms. It has entered similar engagements with Starwood Hotels for Four Points and Aloft Hotels in India.