Northern Ireland’s largest private healthcare provider secures €355m investment

Northern Ireland’s largest private healthcare provider is planning to double its footprint over the next five years and is eyeing hospital acquisitions in the Republic after it secured a £300 million (€355 million) investment from Dublin-headquartered private equity firm Exponent.

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 to now include four hospitals and 11 clinics in Belfast, Derry, 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. Kingsbridge provides more than 25,000 surgical treatments each year.

Dr Tharma and Mr Songra will remain significant minority investors in Kingsbridge, which will also retain its existing senior leadership team, led by chief executive Mark Regan. Dr 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.

Mr Regan said the group will use the investment to double its footprint over the next five years and enhance access and availability to a wider range of treatment options for more patients.

“There has been exponential growth in the past five years and we expect there to be the same going forward,” he told The Irish Times on Tuesday. “It’ll be transformative in terms of investment in facilities and diagnostic equipment.

“Everybody’s job is 100 per cent secure. Quite the opposite. With all these advancements, they will require countless other people to staff those. Moving forward in the company, there will be nothing but growth in terms of job numbers.

“We have got a plan that, largely speaking, doubles what we’re doing today over the next five years. During that journey, there will no doubt be acquisitions that present themselves and we will not be afraid to look at those.”

Mr Regan said the group will also be keeping an eye out for expansion opportunities in the Republic.

“From my perspective, we have treated it as an island without borders,” he said. “Healthcare doesn’t recognise the Border, and we’ve never looked at any defining line saying we won’t invest beyond that.

“If there are acquisitions to be made anywhere on the island, we will be more than happy to explore those.

“We’ve looked at a new hospital in Belfast. We’ve looked at a new hospital in Sligo. But for today, it is about improving and expanding the current facilities that we have.”

Exponent partner David McGovern said: “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.”


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.