VPS Healthcare reconsiders London IPO

DUBAI • VPS Healthcare LLC, a hospital operator in the Middle East, Europe and India, is reconsidering plans to list in London due to uncertainty surrounding Brexit, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The Abu Dhabi-based hospital operator is also evaluating listing in the US or Singapore, and will decide closer to the initial public offering (IPO), the person said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. VPS Healthcare now plans to sell shares in 2020 rather than this year, the person said.

The company, which operates about 20 hospitals and more than 125 medical centres, was said to have hired Rothschild & Co to advise on a potential listing in London this year. VPS Healthcare was seeking to follow United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based medical firms, such as NMC Health plc, in listing in London.

A spokesman for VPS Healthcare declined to comment on the listing plans. Europe’s IPO market has been overshadowed by concern over Britain’s plans to leave the European Union and slowing growth in Germany and France. That’s helped push sale volumes at the start of this year to the lowest level since the financial crisis, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The London IPO of Middle Eastern payment processor Network International LLC in the coming weeks is set to be the first big offering this year.

VPS Healthcare is planning to open four hospitals in the UAE and Bahrain in the next 12 months. The new facilities, which will have specialties such as oncology and maternity, will boost its capacity in the region by 30%. — Bloomberg