Shares of Aster DM Healthcare rallied over 14% to hit a fresh 52-week high on Monday, in an otherwise weak broader market, after the hospital chain operator announced a special dividend of ₹118 a share on account of the receipt of proceeds from the sale of India and and GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) businesses. The healthcare stock has surged 37% since April 3 after the company informed exchanges that it completed the separation of its India and GCC verticals. The Azad Moopen-led company had earlier informed that it intended to consider distributing 70-80% of the transaction proceeds as dividends to its shareholders in the range of ₹110 to ₹120 per share.

Continuing its gaining streak for the third straight session, Aster DM Healthcare shares opened higher at ₹550, up 12.7% against the previous closing price of ₹487.95 on the BSE. During the session so far, the midcap stock gained as much as 14.4% to touch a 52-week high of ₹558.30, while the market capitalisation climbed to ₹26,214 crore. The counter witnessed a surge in volume as 9.5 lakh shares changed hands over the counter as compared to the two-week average of 1.1 lakh stocks.

At the day’s high level, Aster DM Healthcare share price is up 133% against its 52-week low of ₹238.90 on May 8, 2023. The counter has registered a growth of 110% in 12 months; 56% in six months; and 29% in the calendar year 2024. In the last one month, the stock has added 21%, whereas it climbed nearly 8% in a week.

In an exchange filing on Friday, the company said that its board approved a special dividend of ₹118 per share on account of the receipt of proceeds from the sale of the GCC business and redemption of redeemable preference shares issued to the company by Affinity Holdings, a wholly owned material subsidiary of Aster DM Healthcare. This special dividend will be paid within 30 days from the date of the declaration.

The company also informed that its board has decided not to declare an interim dividend for the financial year 2023-24. “The board may consider declaration of final dividend for the financial year 2023-24 at the board meeting considering the approval of audited financial statements for FY24,” the release noted.

Earlier this month, Aster DM Healthcare concluded the separation of its India and GCC businesses to establish two distinct and standalone regional healthcare units. Under the separation plan, a consortium of investors led by Fajr Capital, a sovereign backed private equity firm, has acquired a 65% stake in Aster GCC, with the Moopen family retaining a 35% stake alongside management and operational rights. In the Indian operations, the Moopen family continues to hold the 41.88% stake. The transaction has now concluded and following which Affinity Holdings Limited (a wholly subsidiary of the Company) has received a cash consideration of $907.6 million.

In November 2023, the company had obtained board nod to separate its GCC and India businesses, which was also approved by the company’s shareholders in January 2024.

Post segregation, Aster DM Healthcare, India plans to focus on geography growth with greenfield and brownfield expansions in the next 3 years. The company plans to add 1,700 beds by FY27 through the organic route and will further look for expansion through the inorganic route as well to be among the top 3 hospital chains in India.

“The expansion plan will encompass a mix of brownfield and greenfield projects, encompassing the upcoming Aster Capital in Trivandrum, and Aster MIMS Kasargod and adding bed capacity to the existing hospitals. The company will also be looking at potential markets such as Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. The capital allocation for this expansion is in the range of ₹1,000 crore,” as per the company.

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