Competition Tribunal approves Netcare’s acquisition of Akeso

Netcare Limited (“Netcare”) and Akeso Clinics

Monday, March 19 2018

Private healthcare group, Netcare, and Akeso Clinics, a group of 12 dedicated mental healthcare facilities, today announced that the Competition Tribunal, supported by the Competition Commission, has approved the acquisition of Akeso by Netcare. The proposed transaction, which was first announced on 21 November 2016, will therefore proceed as planned.

Akeso has 811 beds in facilities located throughout South Africa in areas such as Cape Town, George, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Nelspruit, Umhlanga and Pietermaritzburg. Netcare will make use of existing resources to fund the R1.3 billion acquisition.

Commenting on the acquisition, Dr Richard Friedland, chief executive officer of Netcare, said: “We are continuously exploring ways to improve our service offering to patients and have recognised the growing demand for mental healthcare services in South Africa.

“The Netcare Group is a leading provider of primary, secondary and tertiary private healthcare services in the country, but is largely under-represented in the mental healthcare field, as we do not currently have bespoke or dedicated mental health or psychiatric facilities in our portfolio.

“Akeso has an outstanding reputation, a well-respected and experienced management team, and an excellent patient-centred clinical programme. We therefore believe that the acquisition of Akeso provides a strong platform from which to expand our mental health services in South Africa,” added Dr Friedland.

Allan Sweidan, co-founder and managing director of Akeso Clinics, commented that “The acquisition by Netcare will enable an additional investment in what is already a successful model for the delivery of mental healthcare, while assisting Akeso to further expand our existing footprint. This is therefore a strategically important step for Akeso and we look forward to long-term growth resulting from our inclusion in the Netcare Group.”

The transaction was subject to various regulatory approvals, including the sanction of the Competition Tribunal. Following numerous constructive engagements, a joint proposal by Netcare, Akeso and the Competition Commission was presented to the Tribunal. This included that the proposed transaction be approved subject to certain conditions, including Netcare’s disposal of Netcare Rand and Netcare Bell Street hospitals. 

Dr Friedland assured staff, doctors and patients that Netcare Rand and Netcare Bell Street hospitals would continue to function as normal for the foreseeable future and that a process to dispose of the facilities would ensue.

“We are engaging with our staff at Netcare Rand and Netcare Bell Street hospitals and encourage them to remain fully focused on delivering quality patient care and excellent service. There will be job and employment continuity opportunities for all staff currently working at these facilities and we will engage with them to keep them fully appraised of all developments as they unfold,” he added.

In conclusion, Dr Friedland said that Allan Sweidan, will continue to manage the business within Netcare. “Allan and the Akeso management team have made an important contribution in establishing a multi-disciplinary approach to mental health and psychiatric care in South Africa and, strategically, is an ideal fit to complement the Netcare Group’s other businesses.

Notes to journalists

About Netcare

Netcare operates the largest private hospital, primary healthcare, emergency medical services and renal care networks in South Africa. In addition to its world-class acute private hospital services in SA and the UK (the latter offered through BMI Healthcare), Netcare provides:

  • cancer services including radiotherapy and chemotherapy;
  • primary healthcare services through Medicross;
  • emergency medical services through Netcare 911;
  • occupational health and employee wellness services through Netcare Occupational Health; and
  • renal dialysis through National Renal Care.

The acquisition of Akeso now also adds dedicated mental health and psychiatric services to the Group’s portfolio.

Netcare also has the distinction of being a leading private trainer of emergency medical and nursing personnel in the country.

Netcare’s core value is care. From this value flow four others, namely dignity, participation, truth and passion. We work hard to entrench these values in every action, decision and intervention we take with our patients, their families, our colleagues and communities.

For more information visit www.netcare.co.za.

About Akeso Clinics

Akeso is a private inpatient mental health group that prides itself on providing individual, integrated, family-centred therapy and treatment for a wide range of physiological, psychiatric and behavioural disorders and conditions.

Akeso was established during 2008 following the acquisition of the Crescent Clinic in Randburg. Akeso opened its first greenfield hospital in Pietermaritzburg in March 2011, followed by Akeso Alberton in September 2011 and Akeso Parktown in March 2012. It acquired Akeso Kenilworth in March 2013, Akeso Stepping Stones (Kommetjie) in September 2014, Akeso Montrose (Bishops Court) in March 2015 and Akeso George in November 2015. It has subsequently opened new hospitals in Milnerton in September 2015, Umhlanga in December 2015 and Nelspruit in June 2017.

Its newly constructed facility in Arcadia opened on 31 January 2018. Akeso has grown from 85 beds in 2011 to its current 811 beds.

For more information visit www.akeso.co.za.

Issued by:           Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare and Akeso
Contact:             Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney or Meggan Saville 
Telephone:         011 469 3016
Email:                martina@mnapr.co.za, graeme@mnapr.co.za, or meggan@mnapr.co.za