The Abraaj Group has entered an agreement to acquire, through one of its funds, a majority stake in multi-specialty healthcare provider Quality CARE India (CARE) from global private equity firm Advent International.

Headquartered in the Indian city of Hyderabad, CARE is the fifth largest healthcare provider in the country and has 2,600 beds across 16 hospitals in nine cities.

Founded in 1997 by Dr Soma Raju and a group of professionals, CARE focuses on high-quality tertiary care, including cardiac care and neurosciences.

CARE has treated more than six million outpatients and over one million inpatients, a majority of which are from middle and low income groups in underserved second tier cities in India.

The management team of both Abraaj and CARE will focus on expanding the hospital’s integrated healthcare delivery system, especially in certain regions of India.

Abraaj Group Healthcare managing director Khawar Mann said: "CARE is a leader in providing high-quality and affordable healthcare, with ethical practices at the core of its value system and operating philosophy.

"Access to healthcare is a fundamental right of every individual, and we are delighted that CARE and Abraaj share this common vision."

"Our healthcare operations team looks forward to working with Dr Soma Raju, the core group of doctors, and the CARE management team to accelerate the deployment of CARE’s healthcare solutions to underserved communities."

The transaction will give Abraaj an opportunity to bring CARE’s high-quality and delivery platform to other markets where it operates.

Under the transaction, the CARE Foundation, the company’s education, training and rural community outreach programme, will also be scaled up and expanded to develop and train high caliber nurses, technicians, physiotherapists and community health workers.

Raju said: "Access to healthcare is a fundamental right of every individual, and we are delighted that CARE and Abraaj share this common vision.

"We are confident that Abraaj with its track record, healthcare expertise and strong relationships with leading strategic partners and development finance institutions, will enhance our service offerings.

"These relationships will play a key role in enhancing public-private partnerships that are essential to the development of sustainable healthcare systems in India."

Subject to customary closing conditions, the transaction is expected to conclude in the first quarter of this year.