Dubai-based Abraaj Group backs Pakistani diagnostics firm IDC

Dubai-based buyout fund The Abraaj Group has invested an undisclosed amount in a Pakistani diagnostics chain Islamabad Diagnostics Centre (IDC), the company said in a statement.

This is Abraaj’s 30th investment in a healthcare business while fourth in diagnostics space globally and first investment in Pakistan’s diagnostic centre. Earlier, it has also backed four more companies in Pakistan in different sectors.

The partnership with Abraaj, will allow IDC to procure its equipment and consumables as part of the wider healthcare platform and to benefit from its central investment into data, analytics and insight.

“Increased healthcare awareness and a growing requirement for detecting lifestyle diseases are increasing the demand for diagnostics services across Pakistan. IDC is clearly positioned to capitalize on this growth, through its world class infrastructure and diagnostics technology, and its competent management team. This partnership is an important step for us in building our presence in the diagnostics space across South Asia,” Hisham Moussa, MD, The Abraaj Group.

IDC was founded in 2003 by Rizwan Uppal, assistant professor of medicine at Nafees Medical College and his brothers Imran Uppal and Rehan Uppal. The healthcare company operates 20 diagnostics centres across Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Wah Cantonment and Hasanabdal. It is looking to expand its presence across Islamabad, Rawalpindi and additional cities in the Punjab province with over 50 centres in the next five years.

“14 years ago IDC started as a concept offering full medical diagnostics services on a 24 hours basis under one roof, with state of the art technologies. We have grown at an exponential rate since then and we have ambitious expansion plans for the years ahead to serve wider population groups, augment the healthcare needs of the community and create more job opportunities,” said Rizwan Uppal.

Founded in 2002, Abraaj invests in emerging markets across Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Turkey. In the healthcare space alone, the company has invested over $1.2 billion globally across 29 investments in the healthcare spectrum in growth markets.

In 2015, the Group had exited its investment in a diagnostic platform Integrated Diagnostics Holding, Middle East via an IPO on the London Stock Exchange.

Last year in June, Abraaj had received a commitment of $20 million from IFC for its $200 million Pakistani-focused fund. It plans to invest in 8-10 micro-financing projects in Pakistan, with ticket sizes ranging between $5 million and $40 million through the fund.

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