Sequoia Capital-backed Vasan Healthcare has raised $100 million as part of a growth round of funding from sovereign wealth fund Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC). This is the Chennai-based eye and dental care hospitals chain’s fourth round of private equity funding. It earlier raised $50 million from Sequoia Capital and WestBridge Capital over multiple rounds. GIC will retain a minority stake in the company, following the investment, according to media reports.
The fresh funds infusion will be used to expand the company’s presence geographically and finance acquisitions, say media reports, quoting Vasan founder and chairman A M Arun. The company currently operates 102 eye care hospitals and 14 dental care centers. Arun founded Vasan in 1947 with a single pharmacy in the small town of Trichy in Tamil Nadu. In 2002, it started its first eye care hospital in Trichy and went on to expand to Salem two years later via an acquisition. Since then it has expanded to other parts of South India, including Kerala and Karnataka. In 2010, the company ventured into the dental care business and expanded its presence to North and Western India.
Talk of the GIC investment has been around since June last year, when media reports speculated that the company would sell a 15 per cent stake to GIC as part of a $100 million pre-IPO investment. In November 2010, chairman Arun had told newspapers that the company would raise upto Rs 1,000 crore via an initial public offering (IPO) in 2011. The IPO was expected to finance the company’s Rs 450 crore capital expenditure plan. The maiden listing appears to have been deferred for now.
Image Courtesy: Vasan Healthcare