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Aster DM Healthcare shortlists two bidders for stake in Gulf business

Aster DM Healthcare
India-listed Aster DM Healthcare is looking to sell a stake of more than 50% in its business in the Gulf region

Dubai-based Aster DM Healthcare is looking to sell a majority stake in its Gulf-based business and has short-listed buyers for the sale, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Aster, which operates hospitals, clinics and pharmacies in the Gulf and India, is looking to sell a stake of more than 50 percent in its business in the region, said the sources, declining to be named as the matter is not public.

Private equity firm Fajr Capital and Dubai financial services firm Gulf Islamic Investments have been shortlisted in the process, the sources said.

Fajr declined to comment, while Gulf Islamic Investments did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by Reuters on Friday.

“All relevant information related to the group re-organisation and investors refresh for the GCC business has been reported to the stock exchange in accordance with applicable law,” Aster said in response to a Reuters request for comment.

“While we don’t comment on market speculation related to names of companies, financial value, timelines etc., we would like to clarify that any information circulating around this subject does not accurately capture the terms or nature of the proposed reorganisation. The company will make disclosures to the stock exchanges when required under applicable laws,” Aster said.

Mumbai-listed Aster began a sales process at the end of last year to demerge the Gulf business to help investors and analysts better understand the company, one of the sources said.

They want to monetise the business and believe that they are not getting appreciation of the GCC business in the share price, the source said.

Aster’s stock price has declined four percent this year.