QIA’s purchase of EUR380 million (US$448 million) of new public equity issued by Siemens Healthineers is the latest and largest single private market transaction by the Qatari fund in the healthcare sector.
The Siemens affiliate issued more public equity, raising EUR2.3 billion (US$2.7 billion) to pay for its US$16.4 billion acquisition of its US peer Varian; QIA was the biggest buyer. Siemens Healthineers is aiming to be a world-leader in cancer care.
This is not the first time the fund has invested in a subsidiary of the Germany industrial conglomerate. In December, QIA paid US$150 million for a 12% stake in Fluence, leaving Siemens and AES with 44% each. Based in Arlington, Virginia, Fluence is an energy storage technology and services company, serving utility companies across the world.
In the past three years, Qatari fund has gradually raised its exposure to health and tech investments, focusing on startups with a view to long-term yield. The strategy is a departure from its past focus on real estate, infrastructure and chunky public equity holdings. The impulse to increase and diversify its direct investments in private markets partly came from being burned by a US$12 billion paper loss it suffered in 2015, when its top public equity holdings slumped in value.
Its recent appetite for venture capital has mirrored its peers in the Gulf region, with the pandemic creating greater impetus to invest in earlier stage investment rounds. This week, it participated in a US$200 million funding round for food tech company Eat Just, which has pioneered a plant-based alternative to eggs.
In the healthcare sector, QIA backed Tessera Therapeutics in a US$250 million Series B round in January, investing in its gene writing technology which has the ability to write therapeutic instructions into the genome to treat diseases at their source.
Last July, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the fund took a stake in CureVac in a US$126 million funding round for the biotech company, which is pioneering the messenger RNA approach for developing vaccines and monoclonal antibodies for infectious diseases.
So far this year, QIA’s tech investments have included a US$100 million Series H funding round for Indian languages tech platform VerSe Innovation and participated in a US$270 million private equity round for the US-based Human Capital Management software developer Paycor.