Labaid Cancer Hospital plans gigantic investments, prepares for IPO
Already investing around Tk500 crore, the company now plans to invest Tk1,500-2,000 crore in next four years
Labaid Cancer Hospital & Super Specialty Centre Ltd, a modern specialised healthcare provider in the capital, is planning to make gigantic investments to build a robust nationwide ecosystem for cancer and other specialised diagnosis and treatments
The company is also preparing to go public by issuing shares through an initial public offering (IPO).
Labaid's Managing Director Sakif Shamim told The Business Standard, "We have already invested some Tk500 crore to build our 14-storied hospital building and its modern facilities in the Green Road area. Now, we are planning to invest Tk1,500 crore to Tk2,000 crore in the next four years."
"We will be investing in the state-of-the-art medical infrastructure for high quality complete care of cancer and other specialised patients at our Dhaka facility. Also, we want to build some 20 satellite centres across the country so that specialty treatment can be decentralised to some extent," he added.
He said, for instance, all the cancer tests except for the genome sequencing are done at the company's Dhaka facility. And, by the end of this year, it aims to acquire the technology and facility for genome tests.
Starting operations in 2020, the hospital is now serving 500 cancer patients a day.
"We want to ensure all the specialty healthcare, including complete diagnosis and treatment of the rising number of cancer patients, so that no one feels the need to go abroad," Sakif Shamim said.
Due to reliability and affordability, every year a large number of Bangladeshi specialised patients go abroad to spend huge foreign currencies, and the managing director believes that having a robust large scale local healthcare ecosystem can help patients save a huge effort, time and money.
Transplanting services, including bone marrow and various organs, will be available at his hospital.
Recently, Labaid signed a corporate advisory and issue management agreement with City Bank Capital Resources Ltd – a top tier local investment bank.
After the agreement signing, the managing director said at least Tk500 crore, out of the planned investment, would be raised from investors.
But how much of the amount would be raised through the IPO was still undetermined.
"Initially, as corporate advisor, we will serve the company to best prepare for pursuing its growth and going public. Later, we will provide the services to raise funds through IPO and get listed in the stock exchanges," said Ershad Hossain, the managing director and CEO of City Bank Capital.
Of the needed investment, some Tk100-300 crore might be raised through IPO, depending on the company's preferred capital structure and the market condition a few years later, added Hossain.
Private equity, strategic investment, debt instruments are also among the alternative options, he said.
Bangladesh stock market has only one listed hospital company — Samorita Hospital.
Delta Hospital, another cancer care facility, made a move to go public before the pandemic. But later, the IPO was cancelled amid a lacklustre response from investors, especially after the company managed alternative finances for its expansion project.
However, private investors, both home and abroad, have been increasingly interested in Bangladesh's healthcare.
A few years back, US Evercare acquired STS Holdings, previously popular as Apollo Hospitals Dhaka, for over Tk1,000 crore then.
Evercare, United, Square, Asgar Ali, Central, Green Life, Anwar Khan Modern, and a few dozen more large and medium private hospitals are growing here fast.
Labaid Group, the parent of Labaid Cancer and Super Specialty Centre, is one of the pioneers in private sector run healthcare as its cardiac care and a number of wings in the last three decades emerged as a popular destination of the country's fast growing middle and affluent class.
"Besides the state-of-the-art infrastructure, we are also investing in world-class expertise and we will expedite it," said the hospital's managing director.