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11th August 2023

Babylon Health explores sale of UK business operations

Babylon Health has unveiled its intention to divest its UK operations, encompassing a robust NHS GP practice serving 100,000 patients. The company’s future prospects also teeter on the edge of administration, as conveyed by the latest company statement.

Babylon considers divestment 0f UK Operations

Echoing events from May, when Babylon’s shares took a nosedive due to revelations about its transition to private ownership under a novel debt strategy, recent developments indicate that a $34.5 million endeavour to restructure and revert to private hands has floundered.

Prominently situated at the forefront, Babylon GP at Hand, a pioneering online GP practice, stands resilient with its stronghold of over 100,000 NHS patients dispersed across London’s landscape. This digital healthcare beacon remains as the last bastion of the firm’s NHS-oriented services.

The company has unveiled its pursuit of “strategic alternatives to attain the optimal outcome for its UK operations.” Among these alternatives lies the potential divestiture of its UK segment. As reported by HSJ, influential figures within Babylon project unwavering optimism about the continuity of its UK venture, including the facets dedicated to delivering NHS services.

The fall of Babylon

Babylon Health has unveiled its intention to divest its UK operations.
As of August 2021, Babylon GP at Hand catered to a patient base exceeding 100,000. The demographic makeup heavily favours younger individuals, as 85% of the patients fall within the 20 to 39 age range.

In recent times, the company faced delisting from the New York Stock Exchange, marking a significant event in its trajectory. Following this, the announcement reverberated that AlbaCore Capital, a London-based investment firm, would seize control of its assets sans the endorsement of shareholders. Simultaneously, steps were initiated to summon administrators in the UK.

Babylon conveyed through a formal statement that it “cannot guarantee the assurance of securing adequate liquidity for the sustenance of the Group’s business operations.”

“To the extent that Babylon is unable to secure additional funding and complete a Third Party Sale of a particular business, the applicable entities of the Group will file for bankruptcy protection or implement other alternatives for an orderly wind down and liquidation or dissolution,” the firm stated.

Originating from the UK, Babylon Health emerged as an AI-driven enterprise, once acclaimed as the NHS’s imminent frontier by the former health secretary, Matt Hancock. Founded in 2013 by Ali Parsa, a former British-Iranian banker, the company propagated the notion that its AI prowess could reshape healthcare dynamics, ushering in an era of virtual consultations and diagnostic chatbots like the renowned GP at Hand.

Amid Babylon’s acquisition of multiple NHS contracts, its momentum fueled by Hancock’s endorsement of GP at Hand in 2018, a chorus of experts consistently sounded a cautionary note, branding the technology as untested and excessively hyped.

In the present juncture, the company stares down the precipice of collapse, an outcome hastened by the erosion of nearly the entirety of its once-towering $4.2 billion valuation.

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