SINGAPORE-BASED private equity firm Quadria Capital has raised US$304 million (S$412 million) for healthcare investments in Asia.
It announced yesterday that the fund - its third investment vehicle - will be channelled towards "high-quality and scalable mid-sized healthcare companies" that can cater to the masses at affordable prices. These include businesses with a focus on hospital services and pharmaceuticals.
Managing partner Abrar Mir told reporters at an interview that two-thirds of the fund will be used for investments in South-east Asia, while the remaining one-third will go to investments in South Asia.
Its investors include global institutions such as the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group; government institutions from Europe and the Middle East; as well as institutional investors and family offices from across the world.
The fund has already completed two investments - in Medica Synergie, a hospital network in eastern India, and SOHO Global Health, one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution businesses in Indonesia.
It is targeting annualised returns of about 25 per cent.
"Healthcare (in Asia) is a sector that is going through a tremendous amount of change and... is showing tremendous promise," said Mr Mir. About 70 per cent of global growth in healthcare demand today comes from Asia, where the industry is "growing faster than in any other part of the world", he added.
Total healthcare spending in Asia is expected to climb to US$4.5 trillion by 2030 - more than that of the United States and Europe combined.
Dr Amit Varma, also a managing partner at the firm, noted that there are more lifestyle diseases among people in Asia today, such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes and pollution-led lung diseases.
"These are diseases which stay with you for the rest of your life, which means you need to create an entire ecosystem around them," he said.
Making things worse, he added, is the "minuscule" spending on healthcare by governments in several countries.
India, for example, spends less than 2 per cent of its gross domestic product on healthcare, while Indonesia spends 2.3 per cent.
"That's where private money comes into play," said Dr Varma. "It can help contribute to better and, more importantly, more effective healthcare systems across the region."
He added that Quadria Capital, which is based here, hopes to export Singapore's expertise in healthcare to its investments across the region.
"In Singapore, there's great access to talent, manpower, technology and cutting-edge medicine. It leads this region broadly.
"Exporting these learnings to our investments can help change the way medicine is practised across the region."