IHH, Sime Darby Said to Make Bids for HMI Malaysia Hospital

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IHH Healthcare Bhd. and Sime Darby Bhd.’s medical venture made offers for a Malaysian hospital owned by Health Management International Ltd., people with knowledge of the matter said.

The two companies submitted first-round bids for the Mahkota Medical Centre in the state of Malacca, the people said, asking not to be named as the process is private. Health Management, which is listed in Singapore, is working with Credit Suisse Group AG to sell the hospital for about $250 million, people with knowledge of the matter said last month.

The bidders aim to boost growth by buying a hospital that provides specialist services including chemotherapy day care and in-vitro fertilization, drawing more than 287,000 patients last financial year. Aging populations and a burgeoning middle class are boosting health-care spending in Asia Pacific, which is projected to increase 10.5 percent annually to reach $2.2 trillion by 2018, according to Frost & Sullivan.

Health Management shares jumped 20 percent, the most since September 2013, to close at a record 39 Singapore cents.

Revenue at the 266-bed Mahkota, which opened in 1994, rose 11 percent to 212 million ringgit ($59 million) in the year through June 2014, according to Health Management’s annual report. The hospital, located about 120 kilometers (75 miles) southeast of Malaysia’s capital, has offices in Indonesia, Cambodia and Singapore to attract patients from overseas, its website shows.

Sime Darby, the world’s largest listed palm oil producer by market value, bid through its 50-50 medical joint venture with Australia’s Ramsay Health Care Ltd., the people said. The business operates three medical centers each in Malaysia and Indonesia, according to its website.

Blocked Purchase

IHH said in an e-mailed statement it’s “always looking” at opportunities to add to its portfolio and won’t comment on specific transactions. A spokesman for Sime Darby said the company is always seeking ways to create value for shareholders and wouldn’t comment further. A representative for Ramsay declined to comment while Health Management didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Health Management owns 48.95 percent of Mahkota, according to its annual report. The hospital’s other shareholders also plan to sell their stakes, people with knowledge of the matter said last month.

IHH, the biggest health-care provider in Asia, bought control of India’s Continental Hospitals Ltd. for 2.8 billion rupees ($44 million) in March, after its proposed S$137 million ($103 million) acquisition of diagnostic imaging provider Radlink-Asia Pte was blocked by Singapore’s competition regulator.

Last year, IHH dropped plans to bid as much as A$5 billion ($4 billion) for Healthscope Ltd. as the Australian health-care provider’s owners veered toward an initial public offering, people familiar with the matter said. The Kuala Lumpur-based company is seeking more acquisitions in China and India, even as it focuses on expanding its Singapore and Malaysia operations, Chief Executive Officer Tan See Leng said in a September interview.

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