Parkway Gains After S$3.2 Billion Fortis Buyout Offer
Parkway Holdings Ltd., Asia’s biggest hospital operator, jumped in Singapore trading on speculation Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund will raise its takeover offer for the company after being outbid by Fortis Healthcare Ltd. (FORH)
Parkway advanced 7.3 percent to close at S$3.83, the largest gain since May 31. The price is higher than New Delhi-based Fortis’s cash bid of S$3.80 a share, or S$3.2 billion ($2.3 billion), for the 75 percent of Parkway it doesn’t already own. Khazanah Nasional Bhd. offered S$3.78 a share in May to double its stake in the Singapore-based company to 51.5 percent.
Billionaire brothers Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, who run Fortis, are moving to block Khazanah from gaining control of Parkway’s 16 hospitals in Asia, where the Indian company forecasts annual health-care spending will grow as much as 17 percent. Khazanah isn’t likely to accept the Fortis offer, said Lynette Tan at DMG & Partners Securities Pte. in Singapore.
“Khazanah is likely to make a general offer for Parkway, as it wants a controlling stake,” Tan, who follows small and mid-cap companies, wrote in a note to clients yesterday.
Mohd Asuki Abas, a spokesman for Kuala Lumpur-based Khazanah, and Rosanna Cil, a Parkway spokeswoman, declined to comment.
Parkway shares began trading at S$3.87 on the Singapore exchange today, suggesting investors expect a higher offer. Today’s gain is the biggest since May 31, when the stock jumped 23 percent after being halted pending Khazanah’s announcement.
“We view the offer price as unattractive,” Jaj Singh, an equities analyst at UBS AG, wrote in a note today. “It may be primarily aimed at Khazanah, offering it an opportunity to get out should it wish to.”
The chances of Khazanah making a revised partial offer or a counter general offer for Parkway are low, said Su Tye Chua, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG in Singapore. Khazanah paid an average of S$3.05 a share for its stake in Parkway, implying a profit of 24 percent at Fortis’s offer price, Chua said in a note yesterday.
“Whatever the outcome, we maintain that Parkway’s stock liquidity will significantly reduce,” Chua said.
Fortis said in its offer statement yesterday that it forecast health-care spending in India will expand 17 percent annually between 2009 and 2014. Growth in Malaysia will be 10.8 percent and 10 percent in Singapore, according to the statement.
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