Bradesco’s insurance arm is looking for new acquisition opportunities in the healthcare sector, Reuters reported citing chief executive Octavio Lazari. 

Speaking to the news agency, Lazari said Bradesco is scouting for investment opportunities in hospitals and acquisitions to compete with rivals offering insurance and healthcare services. 

In February this year, hospital group Rede Dor Sao Luiz announced the acquisition of insurer Sul America, a peer of Bradesco 

Bradesco, which is a private sector bank in Brazil, owns one of the leading health insurance businesses in the country and caters to four million customers. 

The rationale behind the deal is that acquiring hospitals and clinics would help the health insurance business to deal with medical inflation. 

On being asked about resuming talks to buy UnitedHealth Group’s Brazilian business after the deal failed to materialise, Bradesco chief said it would depend “on what they (UnitedHealth) want to do.”

“Bradesco’s door remains open,” Lazari said, adding that recent stock market conditions have made healthcare deals “easier”. 

The Brazilian bank is also building its own hospitals to expand operations and looking for potential partnerships with other hospitals such as Sirio Libanes and Beneficencia Portuguesa.

The development comes shortly after Bradesco reached an agreement to buy Mexican financial services provider Ictineo Plataforma.

Ictineo Plataforma’s acquisition is aimed at expanding Bradesco’s retail banking business in Mexico by offering digital accounts, payroll loans and investment accounts.

Bradesco has been operational in Mexico for 12 years through a financing arm Bradescard Mexico.