File photo: Netcare 911

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's second-largest private hospital firm, Netcare, said on Monday the Competition Tribunal had approved its acquisition of Akeso Clinics, a chain of psychiatric health facilities, for R1.3 billion.

In November 2016, Netcare announced the proposed acquisition of Akeso Clinics, a group of 12 dedicated mental healthcare facilities, comprising 811 beds and located in various parts of South Africa, including Cape Town, George, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Nelspruit, Umhlanga and Pietermaritzburg.

The transaction was subject to various regulatory approvals, including that of the Competition Tribunal. 

A joint proposal by the merging parties and the Competition Commission was made to the Tribunal that the transaction be approved subject to certain conditions, including Netcare’s disposal of the Netcare Rand Hospital and the Netcare Bell Street Hospital.

On Friday, the Tribunal approved the merger. Netcare said it would utilise existing resources for the R1.3 billion payment.

It said the transaction would provide it with an excellent and established platform from which to expand its mental health offering, and enable it to invest in a successful model, which has been developed by Akeso and to assist in expanding the footprint of the Akeso group.

Netcare does not currently have bespoke or dedicated mental health or psychiatric facilities and has recognized the growing demand for the treatment of mental health conditions. Akeso’s co-founder, Allan Sweidan, will continue to manage the business within Netcare.

 - African News Agency (ANA)