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Metro Pacific investing in Tarlac hospital

Posted on June 24, 2013 10:32:43 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ] 
LISTED conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) is adding to the list of medical centers under its wing, saying in a press release yesterday that it has taken “another step forward in building its nationwide chain of premier private hospitals.”
Metro Pacific Investments Corp. has been upgrading equipment and services of hospitals it controls, including this facility shown in a photo on the Web site of Cardinal Santos Medical Center.
In a statement attached to a disclosure, Metro Pacific said it signed an investment agreement yesterday with Central Luzon Doctor’s Hospital (CLDH), which the conglomerate described as “Tarlac’s largest private hospital.”
Under the deal, Metro Pacific will infuse about P187 million in cash to obtain a 51% equity ownership in the hospital. The conglomerate noted that CLDH is a 200-bed hospital that was founded in 1962 by 15 doctors.
“The funding will go towards the purchase of major medical equipment and implementation of an infrastructure development plan highlighted by the construction of a new building to house new operating rooms, as well as additional patient beds and doctors’ clinics,” the statement read.
It added that the deal is “subject to fulfilment of certain conditions” but is expected to be finalized “some time in the third quarter.”
“We are honored to have been given this opportunity to invest in a medical facility like CLDH with such a long legacy as Tarlac’s leading health care provider,” Augusto P. Palisoc, Jr., president and chief executive officer of the MPIC Hospital Group, said in the statement.
“This is also our first investment in a hospital in Luzon outside Metro Manila,” he added.
“Through our contributions by way of fresh capital, professional management assistance and group synergies, we hope to further expand the capabilities of CLDH so that residents of Central Luzon in general, and Tarlac in particular, can continue to receive first-class health care right in their home province.”
Upon the deal’s completion, CLDH will become Metro Pacific’s eighth hospital investment, following Makati Medical Center in 2007; Davao Doctors Hospital in Davao City, 2008; Cardinal Santos Medical Center, 2009; Riverside Medical Center in Bacolod City, 2010; Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, 2010; Asian Hospital, 2011; and De Los Santos Medical Center just last month in which the conglomerate took a 51% stake with a P250-million investment.
The conglomerate’s latest investment will increase the MPIC Hospital Group’s total bed capacity to 2,137.
Metro Pacific grew its net income by 12.97% to P2.7 billion in the first quarter from P2.39 billion in the same three months last year, driven by its utilities and hospital businesses. Aggregate core profits of MPIC Hospital Group rose 13% annually to P219 million in the first quarter on “higher patient revenues” and “tighter expense controls.”
The conglomerate’s operating revenues increased by 10.49% to P7.37 billion from P6.67 billion, while cost of sales and services went up 3.05% to P2.7 billion from P2.62 billion.
Shares of Metro Pacific lost 45 centavos or 8.04% to close at P5.15 apiece yesterday from P5.60 each on Friday last week.
Metro Pacific is the local unit of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co., 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. -- FGBD        

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