Three Gulf private equity firms bid for stake in Saudi lab firm Al Borg, say sources: Reuters

Three Gulf-based private equity firms are competing to acquire a minority stake in Saudi Arabia’s Al Borg Medical Laboratories, sources aware of the matter said on Monday.

The Gulf Arab region’s fast-growing healthcare sector has boomed in recent years on the back of an increasingly wealthy population.

Bahrain-based Investcorp and Jadwa Investment, one of the largest investment firms in Saudi Arabia, are among the bidders, according to multiple sources aware of the matter.

Middle East and North Africa-focused private equity firm Swicorp has also bid, one of the sources said.

Investcorp and Jadwa declined to comment. Swicorp and Al Borg did not respond to requests for immediate comment.

Sources told Reuters in October that E&Y had been appointed to sell a 49 percent stake in Jeddah-based Al Borg, with shareholders seeking a price worth between 12 and 15 times earnings before taxes, potentially valuing the company at up to 1.5 billion riyals ($400 million).

Al Borg is the largest chain of private laboratories in the Middle East and North Africa region, according to its website, with 26 laboratories in Saudi Arabia, four in the United Arab Emirates, two in Qatar, and one each in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Ethiopia.

Al Borg is part of Elaj Group, which is owned by Dr. Mohamed Amin, according to Elaj Group’s website.