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Metro Pacific invests in another hospital

Posted on December 03, 2012 10:21:30 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
CONGLOMERATE Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is growing its hospital portfolio by moving to acquire a controlling stake in another facility, the company said in a disclosure yesterday.  MPIC and shareholders of De Los Santos General Hospital, Inc. (DLSGHI) -- owner and operator of De Los Santos Medical Center (DLSMC) -- signed an investment agreement on Nov. 29, the disclosure read.
The agreement “allows MPIC to participate in a P250-million capital raising exercise for DLSGHI and give MPIC a 51% equity ownership in the expanded company,” it said.
Augusto P. Palisoc, Jr., one of MPIC’s executive directors and chief executive officer of the firm’s Hospital Group, said the fund-raising is expected to take place within the first quarter next year.
“Realistically, the fund-raising will likely happen by March next year. DLSGHI will raise P250 million, MPIC will then subscribe to around P190 million, which will give us a 51% stake [in the company],” Mr. Palisoc explained in a telephone interview yesterday.
“In short, we are buying new shares.”
The capital that MPIC will infuse in DLSGHI will be used for the renovation of the hospital.
“The new funds will allow us to expand and rejuvenate the existing facility,” he added.
In a separate disclosure yesterday, STI Education Holdings, Inc. said the “beneficial ownership” of its unit, STI Services Group, Inc., in DLSGHI will be diluted to 5% from 20% once the deal is completed.
The disclosure described DLSMC as a tertiary teaching and training hospital with a 150-bed capacity. The hospital is located along E. Rodriguez, Sr. Boulevard in Quezon City.
The hospital, which was founded by the late physician Jose V. De Los Santos, Sr. in 1973, has an affiliate: De Los Santos-STI Megaclinic, Inc., a 2,000-square-meter ambulatory and diagnostic center at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City. The investment in DLSGHI will also include STI Megaclinic, Mr. Palisoc explained.
Once the deal is completed, DLSMC will become the seventh in MPIC’s growing nationwide chain of hospitals in the Philippines. The new acquisition will also bring MPIC’s total bed capacity to “approximately 2,000 beds.”
Presently, MPIC has stake in six full-service hospitals: Makati Medical Center, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and Asian Hospital in Metro Manila; Riverside Medical Center in Bacolod; and Davao Doctors Hospital in Mindanao.
MPIC reported last month that its Hospital Group’s core net income rose by 31% annually to P537 million in the nine months to September, “reflecting the benefit of investments made in the Asian Hospital and an increased shareholding in Cardinal Santos starting November last year.”
In the same comparative nine-month periods, MPIC grew its core net income by 27.34% to P5.03 billion from P3.95 billion.
Shares of the company rose seven centavos or 1.60% to P4.45 apiece yesterday from P4.38 on Nov. 29, the last day of trading last week.
MPIC is the local unit of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., which partly owns Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT). Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a minority stake in BusinessWorld. -- Cliff Harvey C. Venzon    

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