Investor ready to buy stake in largest Saudi dental chain

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Investor ready to buy majority stake in largest Saudi dental chain

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ALMESWAK is headquartered in Riyadh, where the contemporary architecture of the new King Abdullah Financial District symbolises Saudi Arabia’s growing influence on the world stage. (Image: Fof_mad/Shutterstock)
Jeremy Booth, Dental Tribune International

By Jeremy Booth, Dental Tribune International

Tue. 11 January 2022

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia: A Dubai-based investment company is close to buying a majority share in Saudi Arabia’s largest dental chain, according to media reports. The sale of ALMESWAK Dental Clinics, which runs around 85 clinics in 25 Saudi cities, indicates that healthcare investments in the kingdom are growing in appeal.

Bloomberg reported that Gulf Islamic Investments (GII) is ready to purchase a 70% stake in ALMESWAK for around US$600 million (€530 million), citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter. The 70% stake has been owned since 2017 by private equity firm Jadwa Investment, and the remaining 30% of the shares are held by Emirati healthcare company United Eastern Medical Services.

Bloomberg reported in February that ALMESWAK shareholders had hired an investment bank to explore a range of sale or stock-floating options for the dental chain. The prospective buyer, GII, is a privately held sharia-compliant company, and at least half of its investors are Saudi. It oversees more than US$2 billion in assets and said in 2021 that it was interested in expanding in Saudi Arabia and India.

Saudi Arabia’s dental industry is undergoing a reset after a drive for “Saudization” of its dental workforce was confirmed in October last year. Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Human Resources and Social Development wants at least 60% of jobs in selected healthcare specialties, including dentistry, to be held by Saudi nationals. Effective from 11 April this year, the Nitaqat Saudization programme applies to all privately operated dental clinics in the country that employ three or more dental professionals.

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