Proposes to make a foray into UK, South Africa

M. Ramesh

New diagnosis

The company

expects another 100 per cent growth in the current year.

It intends

to expand both domestic and international operations.

Chennai, April 28

Metropolis is close to getting Rs 40 crore private equity funding

Metropolis Health Services Ltd, the Rs 75-crore company that runs a chain of diagnostic centres in the country, is intent on building sufficient financial muscle to fuel its plans, which includes a foray into South Africa and the UK.

Metropolis' Managing Director, Dr G.K.S. Velu, told

Business Line

that the company was in the final stages of negotiation for a Rs 40-crore private equity funding, which "could well happen in the next two weeks." Dr Velu also plans to raise Rs 80 crore of debt and prepare the company for an initial public offering.

He believes that with Indian business as the anchor, Metropolis can pioneer a diagnostic outsourcing in India. What gave the company the confidence to dream big was its performance last year, when it saw its turnover double. Dr Velu expects another 100 per cent growth in the current year.

Recognition also came in the form of a three-year contract from the Government of Seychelles to manage the clinical laboratory services in the country's government hospitals.

Now, Metropolis intends to expand both domestic and international operations.

In India, the company today has 16 diagnostic centres. The company plans at least four more in the current year.

Four of the 16 centres are joint ventures with partners (who set up the units and later sold the control to Metropolis). In the current year, Metropolis plans to buy out the partners.

The company is present in Sri Lanka it runs Navaloka Metropolis in Colombo and its satellite centres in Kandy and Galle.

In Dubai, it has formed a joint venture "with a very big company". The venture is building a diagnostic lab which will be operational next month.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 29, 2006)
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