Monday, July 22, 2024

Kingsbridge Healthcare Group Secures Major Private Equity Investment –

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This is Exponent’s first investment into Northern Ireland and its eighth on the island of Ireland since 2012.  The deal is one of the largest private equity investments in Northern Ireland in recent years and represents a significant vote of confidence in the NI local economy and healthcare sector.

Kingsbridge Healthcare Group was founded by medical doctors Suresh Tharma and Ashok Songra in Belfast in 2005. It has expanded in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to now include four hospitals and 11 clinics in Belfast, Derry / Londonderry and Sligo. It employs more than 1,100 staff and engages over 400 consultants across a range of advanced medical services in surgery and diagnostics.

Dr Tharma and Mr Songra will remain significant minority investors in Kingsbridge, which will also retain its existing senior leadership team, led by Mark Regan CEO.  Dr Suresh Tharma will assume the position of Chairman of the Board.

Exponent will be represented on the Group’s board by Belfast born Richard Lenane, Managing Partner of Exponent, and Dubliner David McGovern, Partner of Exponent’s Dublin office.

Kingsbridge provides more than 25,000 surgical treatments each year, including a number of patients under the Northern Ireland Planned Healthcare Scheme (formerly known as the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive) and National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF), contributing to reduced waiting list times for patients in the Republic of Ireland.

The investment by Exponent will be used to further the Group’s growth ambitions in providing world-class medical services to patients across the island of Ireland and enhancing access and availability to a wider range of treatment options for more patients.

Private equity firm Exponent has been investing on the island of Ireland for over ten years and has received a commitment from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) in recognition of its work in supporting Irish companies to scale and grow. 

Since 2012, Exponent has invested over €1 billion in Irish-owned and based businesses making it one of the most significant private equity investors in Ireland. This is the third investment completed by Exponent on the island of Ireland in the past five months following its investment in Galway-based Chanelle Pharma in February 2024 and Dublin-based Ethos Engineering in March 2024.

Commenting on the investment, Mark Regan, CEO, Kingsbridge Healthcare Group, said:

“We welcome this significant investment and vote of confidence in our business. The team at Exponent is committed to supporting our local healthcare sector and has an impressive track record of backing great businesses across the island. 

“Our aim from the very outset two decades ago was to improve access to healthcare, be that through supporting the public sector via the NHS, HSE and NTPF or those who wish to access our surgery and diagnostic services using self-pay models or private medical insurance.

“In Northern Ireland we have the longest healthcare waiting lists in Europe. By working in partnership with both the NHS and the HSE as well as the burgeoning private healthcare market here, I strongly believe that together we can make a real and lasting difference to the outcomes for many more patients. Our singular aim going forward is to continue to build on the legacy we’ve already established and to serve the healthcare needs of the population of Ireland, north and south.” 

David McGovern, Partner, Exponent added: “Kingsbridge is a special business, doing important work in a differentiated way. The strength of the company’s culture and patient focus was apparent to us on our first visit to Kingsbridge Belfast. Through its high-tech facilities and thoughtful operating model, Kingsbridge is strategically well positioned to address demand for healthcare services in Northern Ireland and across the island of Ireland.  “We look forward to working closely with Mark and his impressive team to build on its success in the coming years by investing in its capabilities, expanding its presence across Ireland, and exploring new growth initiatives. Together, we will strengthen the Company’s crucial role in supporting the island’s healthcare network.”

Richard Lenane, Managing Partner, Exponent added:

“Kingsbridge Healthcare Group is an exceptional business providing excellence in medical care to patients. Through our investment, we look forward to building on the success of founders Suresh and Ashok to further enhance the range of services and highest standards of patient care that Kingsbridge is renowned for.

“We see huge potential for growth in the healthcare sector in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as demand for accessible and more technologically advanced healthcare services increases. Our key priority will be strategically investing to ensure Kingsbridge Healthcare Group continues to have the best people, the best technology and the most advanced facilities to meet patients’ needs into the future. We look forward to working closely with Mark and his leadership team”


Kingsbridge CEO Mark Regan

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