Metropolis eyes acquisitions in India, Africa for expansion

Aug 18 2013, 11:31 IST
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SummaryMetropolis is targeting up to three domestic acquisitions in the ongoing fiscal.

Diagnostics chain Metropolis Healthcare is looking for acquisitions in India and Africa as part of its expansion plans. The Mumbai-based firm, which has earmarked Rs 100 crore to fund expansion and acquisitions, said it is targeting up to three domestic acquisitions in the ongoing fiscal apart from looking for similar opportunities in West Africa in future.

It also plans to open 14 new laboratories across the country in this fiscal as part of its expansion plans. "We are planning two to three acquisitions in FY13-14 in the country. We are already in talks for these," Metropolis Healthcare MD & CEO Ameera Shah told PTI. She, however, declined to disclose identity of the entities with whom the company is in discussion. On overseas expansion, Shah said: "We plan to enter West Africa, in Nigeria, Ghana and Zambia. All these will be through inorganic route, through acquisitions." She, however, did not share a timeline for the overseas acquisitions.

Cultivating a brand in new markets takes time and moreover it is easier for local partners to handle local issues, Shah added. When asked how the company proposed to raise funds for the acquisitions, she added: "We have a Rs 100 crore chest available for expansion and acquisitions. The expansion will be done mostly through internal accruals."

Commenting on the domestic expansion plans, Shah said: "We will be opening 14 greenfield laboratories in the current financial year at an investment of around Rs 20 crore." The new laboratories will be mainly in tier II and tier III towns such as Jabalpur, Varanasi, Bhopal, Kolhapur, Madurai and Udaipur, she added. The firm currently runs 81 laboratories across India and is also looking at acquisitions to boost its network. The company currently has presence in four countries Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates (UAE), South Africa and Kenya -- outside India.

Metropolis Healthcare currently has 100 laboratories and 700 collection centres globally. It processes over 10 million tests a year.

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