PureHealth, an integrated healthcare company based in Abu Dhabi has entered an agreement to buy the UK’s largest independent operator of hospitals, Circle Health Group, for £1.2bn ($1.52bn), it was announced on Monday (28 August).

PureHealth’s largest shareholder is ADQ, one of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth funds. It formed the firm last year by consolidating several smaller companies, and PureHealth is now the largest healthcare platform in the region.

The Circle deal represents the largest overseas investment in healthcare yet for the company, more than doubling the value of all healthcare deals done in the United Arab Emirates over the last year.

Nonetheless, the country had the highest value of deals in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region after Israel over the period at $1.1bn, according to GlobalData.

The $500m investment by PureHealth into US-based Ardent Health Services earlier this year marked the first foray of the company into Western markets, and the pursuit of a deal over three times that value so soon suggests a plan for rapid growth.

In a press release for the Circle deal, Farhan Malik, Group CEO of PureHealth, described the deal as “an important milestone in our journey towards creating a global healthcare network.”

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PureHealth not only operates over 25 hospitals but also runs labs and clinics. The possibilities for international expansion are therefore wide-ranging, and this deal is in keeping with an increased focus on international expansion in the MENA region, which this year overtook capital raising to be the second most valuable rationale for deals.

Our signals coverage is powered by GlobalData’s Thematic Engine, which tags millions of data items across six alternative datasets — patents, jobs, deals, company filings, social media mentions and news — to themes, sectors and companies. These signals enhance our predictive capabilities, helping us to identify the most disruptive threats across each of the sectors we cover and the companies best placed to succeed.