Mumbai: Financial services group Avendus is providing Rs 75 crore as structured debt to promoters of the Guwahati-based healthcare provider GNRC, reaffirming the growing confidence of investors in low-cost affordable healthcare. The financing will be used to buy out existing PE investor Canbank Venture Capital Fund, which pumped money into the hospital venture in 2013. The transaction is being done by Avendus Finance, the non-banking financial services arm of Avendus Capital, and its debt fund Avendus Structured Credit Fund.
GNRC, promoted by neurologist Dr Nomal Chandra Borah, has pioneered a low-cost healthcare model, which is more OPD-centric, and focuses on prevention. The company, which reported a Rs 165-crore turnover and Rs 32-crore profit in 2017-18, operates a chain of multi-specialty hospitals in Assam and West Bengal, with a capacity of over 1,600 beds.
Avendus Finance MD and CEO Sandeep Thapliyal told TOI, “The deal falls under the preferred sector — healthcare — and this transaction fits in as it helps GNRC in multiple ways, allowing it to scale up to the next level with this new business model. It also reinforces our core value proposition of providing customised structured finance and backing mid-market and differentiated businesses with high-quality entrepreneurs.”
Avendus Finance, a subsidiary of Avendus Capital, started operations in November 2016 and has since then done 14-15 transactions, investing and syndicating approximately Rs 1,500 crore in high-quality, mid-market profitable businesses across sectors such as healthcare, industrials, education and services. Others that have raised credit from Avendus Finance include Hyderabad-based hospital chain Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, nutraceutical ingredients manufacturer OmniActive Health Technologies, and biotech firm Yashraj Biotech.
Further, this deal is the second for the Rs 500-crore Avendus Structured Credit Fund floated in August last year, the first being in advertising services firm Ad2Pro Media Solutions.
Dr Borah, the chairman and MD of GNRC, said, “We firmly believe in this new business model of providing affordable healthcare services, and plan to replicate across geographies. Under the low-cost model at two hospitals, emergency and simple investigations are free of cost, while complex and expensive surgeries are subsidised. This ensures quality healthcare services are available to people from lower income group at affordable prices in the northeast region.”