Bloomberg News

Medscheme Plans Fivefold Growth on Europe, Africa Expansion

September 12, 2011

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Medscheme Ltd., a South African medical insurance administrator, expects business outside the continent’s biggest economy to raise its revenue contribution fivefold by 2015, Chief Executive Officer Andre Meyer said.

International business makes up 8 percent of the company’s revenue and the target is to reach 40 percent in four years, Meyer said in a Sept. 9 interview in Ebene, south of Port Louis, Mauritius’s capital.

“There is a base of 28.5 million people in the African market where there will be demand for the healthcare,” Meyer said. “We are also targeting Ireland, U.K., Europe and reaching the American market through acquisitions of companies in India.”

Revenue was 1.4 billion rand ($191 million) in the year through June and is expected to increase as much as 20 percent through 2012, driven by acquisitions in South Africa and abroad, Meyer said. South Africa’s government will begin implementing a compulsory medical insurance plan in April, starting with a pilot program in 10 districts that will be rolled out across the country over 14 years.

The ruling African National Congress agreed to the plan in September last year, estimating it would cost 128 billion rand in its first year in 2012, rising to 267 billion rand by 2020.

“The future growth that we see in South Africa will be from further consolidation in three to five years, growth in the government employees’ medical scheme and national health insurance,” Meyer said. “It puts us in a very good position to be a potential player.”

Medscheme’s largest client is VHI, Ireland’s biggest healthcare insurance company, for which it handles medical claims, Meyer said.

Medscheme plans an acquisition in the U.K. and is in advanced talks with two services providers in India, enabling it to gain access to the U.S. market, he said. Mauritius “will be the base” for the company’s international expansion, Meyer said. Medscheme bought Mauritius’s Administrators and Consultants Ltd. in September 2010.

--Editors: Ana Monteiro, Alastair Reed

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To contact the reporter on this story: Kamlesh Bhuckory in Port Louis via Johannesburg at gbell16@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net


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