Indian multi-specialty healthcare provider Manipal Hospitals has signed a definitive agreement to acquire complete stake in Columbia Asia Hospitals.

According to market sources, the deal is valued at around Rs21bn ($281.5m) and will make Manipal Hospitals the second largest healthcare chain in the country.

Following the acquisition, the combined entity is expected to have a presence of 27 hospitals across 15 cities in India with more than 7,200 beds, 4,000 doctors, and over 10,000 employees.

It will leverage the clinical expertise and breadth of services of Manipal Hospitals and the strengths of Columbia Asia Hospitals in clinical and service quality.

Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG) chairman Dr Ranjan Pai said: “Columbia Asia makes a compelling strategic fit to our core values of clinical excellence, patient centricity and ethical practices, and will help us advance our commitment to provide outstanding patient care.

“This is the start of an exceptional journey for us and together with Columbia Asia, we are now bigger, stronger and uniquely positioned to meet the growing expectations of the communities we serve across the country.”

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Columbia Asia, which started operations in 2005, operates a total of 11 hospitals across India in Bengaluru, Mysore, Kolkata, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Patiala and Pune. More than 1,300 beds, 1,200 clinicians and 4,000 employees comprise the network.

The acquisition will enable Manipal Hospitals to expand its footprint in the country.

Columbia Pacific Management manages Columbia Asia’s international healthcare businesses.

The transfer of Columbia Asia’s ownership is expected to conclude after receiving regulatory approvals.