EBRD invests US$ 35 million in Georgia’s healthcare sector

By Rezo Bitsadze

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  • Up to US$ 25 million to GHG for refinancing and a minority shareholder buyout
  • Further US$ 10 million to Evex for hospital upgrades, new medical equipment, and refinancing
  • Package to support AMR mitigation and training programmes for nursing professionals

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), JSC Georgian Healthcare Group (GHG) and its wholly owned subsidiary, JSC Evex Hospitals (Evex), are working together to improve access to quality healthcare in Georgia. In a comprehensive financing package worth US$ 35 million, the EBRD is lending up to US$ 25 million to GHG and up to US$ 10 million to Evex.

GHG will use the proceeds to refinance a previous loan to support its critical infrastructure in the fight against Covid-19. The loan’s uncommitted tranche will also partly finance a minority shareholder buyout of GHG’s pharmaceutical business. The loan to Evex, meanwhile, will enable it to upgrade 15 hospitals and to purchase medical equipment that will enhance the value proposition of Evex to its patients. It will also partly refinance recently matured private local bonds.

The EBRD and the Korean government will complement the financial package with technical cooperation to deepen a joint work in promoting human capital development with Georgia's healthcare workforce, addressing critical skills gap for the sector. The EBRD will support the client in developing a new internally certified training program on in-hospital respiratory care, aligned with international standards, to pilot among its healthcare professionals.  The Bank will further engage with GHG to support practices for the prevention and mitigation of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

GHG is the largest operator in the Georgian healthcare sector and the national leader in healthcare services, pharmaceuticals, medical insurance and diagnostics. Its parent company is the London Stock Exchange-listed Georgia Capital. GHG and its subsidiary, Evex, have been Bank clients since 2016.

EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso, who is touring the Caucasus this week, signed the agreement, saying: “It is great to be in Tbilisi, signing this agreement with our longstanding clients in person. With our support, they have played a significant role in Georgia’s ability to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. We are delighted to help strengthen their operations and bolster Georgia’s healthcare infrastructure for years to come.”

Irakli Gogia, CEO of the GHG said: “I am very pleased to announce that GHG and one of its subsidiaries, Evex Hospitals, successfully completed another two long-term funding transactions with EBRD, supporting the sustainable growth of our Group. I once again want to thank EBRD, our longstanding partner, who always tries to help businesses to develop and protect well-being of our citizens.”

The EBRD has invested almost €5 billion in Georgia to date through 270 projects, with more than 80 per cent of those in the private sector. The Bank’s key areas of investment include the financial sector, sustainable infrastructure, manufacturing and services, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

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