Belfast Telegraph

Multi-million pound investment secured by healthcare group

Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

Northern Ireland's largest private healthcare group 3fivetwo has secured a new multi-million pound fund from two major London and Washington DC equity investors.

The fund, created by US-based 57 Stars LLC and UK investor Foresight Group, will be used to provide additional capacity, including beds and theatres, at 3fivetwo's Kingsbridge hospitals in Belfast and Sligo.

The investment will also enable the provision of more services in imaging, orthopaedics and specialist services, such as cardiac surgery, and the expansion of medical training and optometry services through acquisition and partnership.

Healthcare specialist 57 Stars has bases in Washington DC, San Diego, Munich and Singapore, while Foresight has offices throughout the UK as well as in Sydney, Rome, Madrid and Seoul.

Both will take a minority stake in 3fivetwo Group and will be represented on the board of directors.

It's understood that both private equity groups are seeking further investment opportunities with other small and medium sized businesses operating in Northern Ireland,

Established by Suresh Tharma and Ashok Songra in 2006, 3fivetwo is the only private healthcare group on the island of Ireland to have hospitals on both sides of the border, as well as a presence in London.

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Mr Songra said yesterday that the fresh funding will help the healthcare group scale up to provide medical services to the rest of the UK and other parts of the world.

Dr Tharma said goals of the equity firms were aligned with those of 3fivetwo.

"They want to make a return on their investment for their investors naturally, but they also want to make a difference to the lives of the people of Ireland in the process," he said.

"Our plans are ambitious and set a path for achieving both objectives."

Bernard C McGuire Jnr, managing director of 57 Stars, said be believed 3fivetwo could complement the public healthcare sector to address long hospital waiting lists.

Chris Wardle from Foresight said: "The new fund will be targeting both growth capital and majority stake investments in businesses with a material presence in the region, primarily supporting companies that generate EBITDA in excess of £1m."

Belfast Telegraph