Alpha Hospitals is the largest provider of specialist psychiatric care in England, working with adults and adolescents who require treatment in a secure setting. It runs state-of-the-art facilities in Bury, Sheffield and Woking with more than 300 beds in total and employs more than 1000 staff.
Launched in 2002 by Patricia Hodgkinson, former CEO of the Florence Nightingale Hospitals Group, Alpha Hospitals was backed by CCAG, whose founder Bhanu Choudhrie joined the Alpha Hospitals board. Ms Hodgkinson’s vision was to deliver outstanding personalised care for patients with severe mental health problems in purpose-built facilities, working in partnership with NHS England and local NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups.
The first site was opened at a disused hospital in Woking, Surrey, in 2003 and with CCAG’s financial backing, Alpha Hospitals later expanded to the two other sites. Its turnover was £ 42.1m for the year ending March 31, 2014.
It has attracted interest from a number of healthcare providers and KPMG were appointed to advise on the company’s strategic options. Cygnet Healthcare’s parent company, Universal Health Services, is one of the largest hospital companies in the US.
“The strong interest we had from potential bidders, and the price we ultimately received, is testament to the strength of the business,” said NRI businessman Bhanu Choudhrie. “CCAG incubated Alpha Hospitals and invested in it for 13 years, allowing it to scale up and grow successfully. I am delighted that the company will continue to grow under a new owner.
“Our approach is to back management teams which create long-term value. I have been on the board since its inception and have always taken a close personal interest in the business. We will now be looking for new investment opportunities in healthcare and other speciality services in India, which again provide an investment opportunity unlike any other”.
London-based CCAG has a track record of successfully incubating businesses around the world in healthcare, hospitality, real estate, aviation, utilities and agriculture.
The strategic decision to exit Alpha Hospitals in the UK healthcare market, was executed with the aim of allocating more resources for India, which offers far superior investment opportunities in the healthcare and hospitality sectors. The C&C Alpha Group plans to invest about Rs. 1,500 crore in the healthcare and hospitality sectors over the next 3 to 5 year horizon in India.
Mr. Choudhrie added, “In hospitality, we have already planned to add about 1,800 rooms in India under three brands — Hyatt, Four Points and Aloft Hotels — to take our total strength to about 3,000 rooms. In addition to which the C&C Alpha Group is also building a 200 beds super specialty hospital in South Delhi for which we have already acquired the land.”
Last month, it brokered a deal for a new £150m cancer hospital in London, which will be run by the Abu Dhabi-based VPS Healthcare Group. Ravenscourt Park Hospital will be the first private facility in the UK to offer proton beam therapy and is the first hospital to be re-developed in London for more than 30 years.