Healthcare Entrepreneur to Launch For-Profit Hospital Ships Venture

Healthcare innovator Ulrich Marseille is embarking on an ambitious initiative to secure $269 million for his groundbreaking project, Worldwide Hospitals. This novel endeavor aims to repurpose container ships into fully equipped floating hospitals, offering rapid deployment for emergency medical aid worldwide.

Worldwide Hospitals stands out as the first for-profit venture of its kind. Marseille's innovative approach involves transforming container ships into modular floating hospitals, providing swift response capabilities to coastal areas in crisis. The adaptability of these vessels allows for deployment at sea and their assembly into field hospitals on land by joining modular elements, likened to assembling Lego blocks.

The initial challenge for this groundbreaking initiative is to recoup the substantial investment while ensuring the profitability of medical operations. Two of the seven planned ships will be deployed off Sierra Leone and Cameroon free of charge in early 2024. This strategic move aims to generate publicity and pave the way for potential contracts with governments or organizations such as the United Nations.

Ulrich Marseille, who previously sold a core segment of his nursing home company, MK-Kliniken AG, in 2017, has invested over $33 million in worldwide hospitals. The funds have been allocated for module development, the acquisition of two factories, and the ships themselves.

Worldwide Hospitals, headquartered in Switzerland, anticipates breaking even by the end of 2024. While acknowledging that no clients have committed yet, Marseille is confident in the project's potential. UBS Group AG is serving as the financial adviser for the venture's first financing round of $269 million.

The funding requires a minimum investment of around $1.1 million and is under the management of European Capital Partners in Luxembourg. It offers a dividend of up to 7% starting in the third year, contingent on business performance. Marseille envisions approximately six additional funding rounds and is open to considering an initial public offering within the next five to seven years.

The project's schedule calls for the deployment of its first two ships in early 2024 and the readiness of a second pair by 2025. Marseille anticipates generating over $254 billion in revenue for worldwide hospitals in 2025. The ultimate goal is to transform seven vessels, positioning the venture to dominate the global market for hospital ships.