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Mauritius firm takes over International Medical Group

IHK medical staff at work

Ciel Healthcare Ltd (CHL), which is based in Mauritius, has bought a majority stake in International Medical Group (IMG), the company that owns the renowned International Hospital Kampala, according to a company statement.

Medical expert-turned-politician, Dr Ian Clarke, who is the current Makindye division mayor, founded IMG in 1996 with International Hospital Kampala (IHK) as its flagship brand.

But in a July 10 press statement, Ciel confirmed the takeover of IMG after acquiring 90 per cent of the shareholding. The acquisition comes three years after Ciel, through its subsidiary arm, Kibo Capital Partners, bought a 28 per cent stake in IMG in January 2012.

The buy-out deal includes IMG’s personal medical insurance arm, IAA Healthcare, its charity platform, International Medical Foundation (IMF), private clinics network- International Medical Centres (IMC) and IMG Pharmaceuticals (IMGP), a drugs wholesale supplier portfolio.

Brenda Naluyima, IMG’s marketing and communication manager, confirmed the takeover deal on Monday.

Clarke, who has already expressed interest in contesting for the mayoral job of Kampala City in the next elections, retains the chairman’s post of the group. Alex Alexander, Ciel Healthcare Africa’s managing director, takes over as interim IMG chief executive officer.

Ciel’s takeover ends Clarke’s highly-successful reign in which he has demonstrated that a smart private entrepreneur can prosper in Uganda’s poorly-run healthcare system.

In a statement, Clarke explained that the new partnership is aimed at pushing IMG to great heights.

“There comes a time when it is appropriate for everyone to step down, and since I have been running IMG since its inception for close to 20 years, I feel this is the right time for me [to leave]. We have been working with our partners from CIEL for three years as minority shareholders. Through CIEL Healthcare, they run a very successful hospital in Mauritius and have decided to expand their footprint in East Africa using International Hospital as their flagship,” Clarke said.

Apart from Uganda and Mauritius, Ciel, in a statement, says it operates successful businesses in India, and other parts of Africa and Asia with investments in healthcare, hotels, property and financial services.

Alexander assured that healthcare is an integral part of CIEL’s overall strategy and IMG is a key investment for CIEL Healthcare in the implementation of its overall strategy in sub-Saharan Africa.

“There is much that can be done to serve the medical needs of patients in Uganda and the region; especially if we can build on the capacity and skills of our own health sector.”

Currently, IMG employs more than 600 Ugandan staff.

mugalu@observer.ug

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