Seguros Unimed, the insurance group and financial arm of the medical cooperative system of Unimedwants to accelerate the construction of new hospitals for the coming years, avoiding losing ground to competitors such as D’Or Network and the hapvida. For this, the company is betting on the creation of a centralized real estate fund to raise money and distribute it to its cooperatives. The idea is to operate directly in important cities where the company does not have a relevant operation, such as São Paulo, Brasília and Salvador. The idea is to raise more than R$ 1 billion.
It is a move that the company has already been making through InvestCoop Asset Management, the financial resources manager of the Unimed System, created in 2020. Through it, the company raised R$ 101.7 million to build the Unimed Campina Grande hospital (PB ), which will be the 150th administered by the Unimed System.
According to Helton Freitas, president of Seguros Unimed, a national fund will help create uniformity among Unimed’s cooperatives throughout Brazil, which have independent management. In 2015, for example, Unimed Paulistana went bankrupt, but the fact did not impact the operation of the other cooperatives and the affected beneficiaries were incorporated by the Unimed System.
“We are a cooperative for better or worse. We have a democratic character and we work with social responsibility and it has a series of positive points. On the other hand, there are times when the processes are very slow and this national fund would help in this expansion”, says Freitas.
In order to accelerate the expansion of its own hospitals, Seguros Unimed’s idea is that to use funds from the fund for a construction, the interested cooperative enters with half the money. “R$ 1 billion is part of the fund for all of Unimed. A counterpart will be needed, and the total investment will go to R$ 2 billion”, says Freitas.
The healthcare sector has been the scene of several acquisitions in recent years, led mainly by Rede D’Or and Hapvida, which merged with NotreDame Intermédica this year. Therefore, Freitas says that to remain competitive, Unimed needs to put its foot on the accelerator.
“We are in a real strategy game. We need to strengthen ourselves where we have strength and act more where we are not relevant, as in São Paulo, Brasília, Salvador and São Luís”, says the executive. Acquisitions, however, are not on the radar and Freitas says the focus is on building new spaces.
Last year, Seguros Unimed’s revenue closed up 6.8%, to R$ 4.3 billion, with a net profit of R$ 93.8 million. The Unimed System has 18 million beneficiaries, with a 37% share in the health plan sector.