Cash­ing in on the Net­care way

Finweek English Edition - - SPOTLIGHT - BY SHOKS MZOLO

Some­thing has to be said about Net­care CEO Richard Fried­land’s nav­i­ga­tion skills. At the helm of the pri­vate hos­pi­tal group since 2005, when he suc­ceeded group co-founder Jackie Shevel, Fried­land re­mains a med­i­cal doc­tor at heart. Still, his track record as a busi­ness­man is im­pres­sive. He has bol­stered Net­care’s as­set base at home, while land­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the UK and, more re­cently, in

Le­sotho (via a public-pri­vate part­ner­ship run­ning a hos­pi­tal in Maseru).

Dur­ing Fried­land’s nearly dec ade-long ten­ure, chal­leng­ing no­tably on the reg­u­la­tory and eco­nomic fronts, Net­care ex­panded in the UK through the pur­chase of a stake in Gen­eral Health­care Group (CHG), owner of BMI Health­care, the UK’s l argest pri­vate acute- care hos­pi­tal provider. Net­care also pro­vides ser­vices to the Na­tional Health Ser­vice (NHS), in­clud­ing op­er­at­ing sur­gi­cal cen­tres.

Net­care also in­creased its foot­print in South Africa, where it now has nearly 10 000 hos­pi­tal beds, giv­ing it a 27% mar­ket share in pri­vate care. Un­der Fried­land’s watch, Net­care’s mar­ket cap has in­creased al­most six-fold to nearly R60bn, com­fort­ably out­per­form­ing the Alsi, which tre­bled over the same pe­riod.

“While d r i v i n g s h a r e hol d e r ob­jec­tives, it’s im­por­tant that we never

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