Hong Kong-based private equity firm New Frontier Capital Management Hong Kong (NFCM) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Abu Dhabi-based healthcare investment specialist Blue Apple Partners to launch a fund to raise $300 million.
The proposed fund, dubbed Blue Apple New Frontier Healthcare Fund, will be jointly managed by the two parties, according to a statement on June 1.
The fund will invest in the medical and healthcare sectors in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with a focus on hospitals, medical infrastructure, medical systems, health-tech and health promotion.
The healthcare fund targets to collect $300 million from both local and global investors in the Middle East, Japan, Asia, Europe, and the United States.
“The fund is expected to reach the first closing at the end of 2020,” said Kei Yamaguchi, senior vice president of New Frontier Capital Management International, in a phone interview with DealStreetAsia.
The vehicle will primarily write cheques worth between $10 million and $20 million, apart from potential transactions ranging from $100 million to $150 million into large-scale hospital projects, he said.
NFCM, a strategic partner of the private equity fund business of Japan’s Mizuho Securities, plans to set up a business development desk (BDD) within the fund management firm to collect medical and healthcare-related corporate information in the MENA region.
The BDD will provide the information to prospective Japanese and global corporations who want to enter the MENA market or establish partnerships with local hospitals or corporations, said NFCM, adding that this will enable the new fund to “generate synergies” from a Japan angle or a global angle.
The Hong Kong-based private equity business is specialised in the planning and launch of new funds, related consulting services, and principal investments. It now manages global private equity funds like the CMH Growth Fund (China PE) with China Merchants Group; Tata Capital Growth Fund (India PE) with Tata Capital; as well as global venture capital funds such as Cybernaut New Frontier Venture Fund (China VC); AI Human (Australia VC); and Africa Healthcare Fund (Africa VC).
Before the partnership with Blue Apple Partners, NFCM entered into MOUs with academia and government institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Hyderabad, University of Melbourne, Skolkovo Foundation (Russia), Zhejiang University (China), and Kenya Investment Authority.
NFCM will “become the first Japanese GP (general partner) to enter the Middle East in the medical and healthcare sector,” said the company. “At a time of a global crisis resulting from COVID-19, we believe that promoting investment in the medical and healthcare sector in MENA further underscores the social significance of the fund.”
The company has not seen any “virtual impacts” on its operations, said Yamaguchi, against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic and Beijing’s national security law that has heightened uncertainty for investors and businesses in the financial hub.
Blue Apple Partners, founded in 2012, exclusively invests in the healthcare industry in the Middle East. It is led by Zaid Al Siksek, ex-CEO of Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and investment professional Mansur Ali.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include the responses of NFCM.