Mehmet Ali Aydınlar is determined to make the Acıbadem Health Group (ASG) into a serious regional player. Today he has a 25 per cent share of ASG and a 5 per cent share of IHH. He says that, however much it may look as if he is losing his majority in ASG, the actual situation is different and that this partnership with IHH has left the management of the Middle East and the Balkans to him. Aydınlar’s agenda is headed by plans to expand in the region in particular. Aydınlar says that, in the first stage, they will invest in Russia and the Balkans. “Our target countries include Russia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Albania, Serbia, Kosovo and Romania,” he says. We spoke with Acıbadem Health Group Mehmet Ali Aydınlar about where he wants to take ASG.
Today your shareholding in the Acıbadem Health Group is down to 25 per cent. How does it make you feel to own 25 per cent of a company which you founded from nothing?
- Actually, one should look at it like this.
I used to have a 50 per cent share of ASG. Itook 10 per cent of this in cash. I gave 15 per cent to the other side and took a share. With the remaining 25 per cent I became a shareholder in ASG. I have a 5 per cent share in the overall holding group Integrated Healthcare Holdings (IHH). There is a partnership there between Khazanah Nasional Berhad, which is a Malaysian government investment fund, Mitsui & Co and Mehmet Ali Aydınlar.
You are targeting expanding in the region... How will you move forward and what direction will you take in the region?
- We have a hospital in Macedonia. We have investment plans in the Balkans, the Middle East, North Africa and Russia. These will all be under the Acıbadem roof and be tied to us. The Acıbadem brand will continue to grow in this region.
So what are your targets? What will you achieve in terms of turnover and the number of hospitals?
- In 2010, the Acıbadem Health Group had revenue of TL 946 million and 9,566 employees. In 2011, the group’s revenues were TL 1.3 billion and the number of its employees stood at 11,354. We are aiming to increase our turnover by 30-35 per cent in 2012. We expect the number of our employees to be 13,000-13,500 by the end of the year. At the end of this year, the number of our hospitals will stand at 20, including acquisitions. In the last five years, we have doubled our turnover and the number of our employees. A similar growth can be expected over the next five years.
You are opening new hospitals... So, is there such a potential in Turkey?
- Demand is increasing every day. In 2009, our revenue from patients brought from abroad was $10 million. In 2011, we earned $60 million from patients brought from abroad. This year the figure will be over $100 million. If you consider that our turnover last year stood at TL 1.3 billion, then this means that this was a little over 10 per cent of our revenue.