Columbia Asia Hospitals—a $2-billion chain—is up for grabs. With 29 medical facilities and 2,600 beds, that’s Columbia Asia’s total value across Asian countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and of course, India. Unsurprisingly, a large number of international private equity firms (PEs) and other buyers want in.
Columbia Asia entered India in 2003 to run community hospitals. Its premise was access—people should have medical care within 10 kilometres of their homes for 70-80% of their healthcare needs. The chain’s dozen hospitals in India, however, are mid-sized, with fewer than 1,200 beds in all, and yet, the chance to buy it is being touted as a ‘once-in-a-decade’ opportunity for potential suitors.