MUSCAT: Al Masah Capital Limited, one of the region’s leading alternative investment and asset management firms, announced the rebranding of its healthcare private equity initiative Healthcare MENA Limited to AVIVO Group.

The group has also announced ambitious plans to expand into Oman by end of 2015, and have reasoned the expansion to the massive opportunities in the sultanate’s healthcare market which is expected to grow by 8.9 per cent over the next three years.

Al Masah Capital Limited also revealed its plans to invest around RO115mn (US$300mn) to support the growth and regional expansion of AVIVO Group in Oman and other GCC countries within the next two years, a press release issued on Saturday said.

This investment will increase the number of healthcare facilities operating under the AVIVO Group brand from 32 to 50, a press release said.

This expansion is set to create more than 1,000 new job opportunities for GCC residents, and at the same time increase the annual reach of the group’s medical services from 1.3mn patients to almost two million patients all over the GCC region.

Al Masah Capital Limited research indicates that Oman’s healthcare sector is an essential sector in the sultanate’s economic growth, which is benefitting from rising government expenditure, a robust banking sector, and a drive to expand labour intensive SMEs.

“Al Masah Capital is very active in alternative investment strategies. We believe in securing returns for investors while focusing on socially relevant sectors such as healthcare and education. AVIVO Group healthcare network is set to become one of the largest in the region, and we are focussing our efforts to enter new markets such as Oman,” said Shailesh Dash, founder, CEO and board member of Al Masah Capital Limited and chairman of AVIVO Group.

“The opportunities are immense,” said Amitava Ghosal, executive board member and CEO of AVIVO Group.

“Healthcare spending in Oman is expected to increase. The private sector is already playing a key role in providing healthcare to Omani citizens and residents. This is a market that is expected to grow 8.9 per cent between 2015 and 2018 to hit US$3.1bn by 2018.”

“AVIVO Group believes that virtuous public private partnerships can introduce innovation in healthcare, and will definitely help the Omani government meet rising demand for excellent health services through world class facilities. Our plans are closely aligned with those of the Omani government, which is spending considerably on healthcare initiatives and wants to attract world class facilities and operators to the country,” added Ghosal.

AVIVO Group currently manages and operates two hospitals, 14 speciality centres, eight highend dental centres, six pharmacies, and two diagnostic facilities. In addition to employing more than 200 highly qualified doctors, specialised in 22 medical specialities, AVIVO Group has a staff capacity of more than 1,000 experienced and well trained medical professionals.

The rebranding comes as part of an overall strategy to position AVIVO Group as one of the largest integrated healthcare services providers in Oman and the region. The rebranding also reflects the commitment that Al Masah Capital Limited has held to invest in socially relevant sectors, such as healthcare and education, that positively touch people’s lives.