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MPIC buys another hospital for P1.5B

Posted on November 08, 2011 10:32:32 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
METRO PACIFIC Investments Corp. (MPIC) has continued on its hospital acquisition bout, saying it has moved to buy a controlling stake in Asian Hospital, Inc. for P1.456 billion just weeks after it secured control over another medical center.

The conglomerate reached an agreement to buy shares from various parties to cobble up a 57% stake in Asian Hospital, the sixth medical center in the conglomerate’s portfolio, a statement released yesterday showed.

The deal involves MPIC’s P732-million acquisition of 100% of Bumrungrad International Philippines Inc., which in turn owns over 500 million shares of Asian Hospital.

MPIC is also wholly acquiring Neptune Stroika Holdings, Inc., which owns over 470 million Asian Hospital shares for P601 million. The conglomerate will add to this an acquisition of 88,545,412 shares of Asian Hospital for P123 million.

The 219-bed tertiary hospital commenced operations in 2002 in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, after it was founded by Filipino heart surgeon Jorge M. Garcia.

“We are excited with our investment in Asian Hospital, one of the premier medical facilities in our country that is about to complete its 14-storey second tower which costs around P1.2 billion to build,” Augusto P. Palisoc Jr., MPIC executive director, said.

MPIC said it would soon announce its intention to conduct a mandatory tender offer for all the remaining Asian Hospital shares held by the public.

Two weeks ago, MPIC said it had entered into a deal to obtain direct control over Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City by acquiring the firm behind the hospital’s operations for P300 million.

MPIC also controls Makati Medical Center, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Sta. Mesa in Manila, Riverside Medical Center in Bacolod, and Davao Doctors Hospital in Mindanao.

Sought for comment, analyst Grace C. Cerdenia of said: “The acquisition is in line with the MPIC plan to create a niche in the health care industry.”

“I’m sure all acquisitions went through a diligent process, and I think MPIC deemed the venture profitable,” she added.

MPIC’s net income during the first half of the year climbed by 12% to P1.957 billion. Of this, P99 million reportedly came from its hospital business.

MPIC shares rose by 1.86% to P3.27 yesterday.

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

Mediaquest Holdings, Inc., a unit of the Beneficial Trust Fund of PLDT, has a minority stake in BusinessWorld. -- C.H.C. Venzon

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