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MPIC buys hospital operator

Posted on October 24, 2011 10:31:36 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

LISTED CONGLOMERATE Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has moved to obtain direct control over Cardinal Santos Medical Center by acquiring the firm behind the hospital’s operations for P300 million.

MPIC said in a statement yesterday it signed a deal to buy Colinas Verdes Hospital Managers Corp., the purchase of which will come on top of the conglomerate’s existing 34.79% stake in the hospital operator’s parent firm Medical Doctors, Inc.

MPIC said it will acquire from Medical Doctors 100% of Colinas Verdes pending the approval of Philippine Realty Corp.

Philippine Realty had contracted Colinas Verdes to operate Cardinal Santos until 2028.

“This transaction is beneficial to all parties involved. It will generate a substantial amount of cash for [Medical Doctors] to enable it to continue funding its major upgrade programs…” Augusto P. Palisoc, Jr., MPIC executive director and a Medical Doctors director, said in the statement, citing the need to renovate facilities, buy new equipment, and upgrade the energy infrastructure of Makati Medical.

“It will also free Medical Doctors from the need to possibly fund Cardinal Santos Medical Center’s own expansion program,” Mr. Palisoc said further.

Colinas Verdes will meanwhile be given the opportunity for full financial consolidation and will directly support improvement and expansion programs for both Cardinal Santos and Makati Medical Center, which is operated by Medical Doctors.

“With this restructuring, we will be able to directly support both hospitals and pursue their respective improvement/expansion programs for the benefit of their patients, doctors, and other stakeholders,” he said.

MPIC’s 1,600-bed portfolio of five hospitals is said to be the country’s largest privately owned hospital group. Aside from Cardinal Santos and Makati Medical Center, MPIC controls Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Sta. Mesa, Manila, Riverside Medical Center in Visayas, and Davao Doctors Hospital in Mindanao.

MPIC shares rose by 1.67% to P3.05 yesterday from P3.00 at its previous close.

MPIC is the local unit of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd., which partly owns index heavyweight Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT).

Mediaquest Holdings, Inc., a subsidary of the Beneficial Trust Fund of PLDT, has a minority stake in BusinessWorld. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente
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