(Recasts with quotes from executives)
By Anshuman Daga
SINGAPORE, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Singapore-based private equity firm Kendall Court struck a deal to invest $55 million in Mandaya Medical International Pte Ltd (MMI), which is building a 420-bed private hospital in Jakarta to expand into the country’s healthcare services sector.
Kendall Court will own a majority stake in the Indonesian company by buying preference shares, the two firms said in a joint statement on Friday.
Executives from Kendall Court and MMI said Indonesia’s healthcare sector was growing rapidly, with hospital capacity falling far short of demand.
In 2014, Indonesia - the world’s fourth most populous country with 260 million people - rolled out an ambitious five-year goal of establishing universal health coverage.
“There are more people getting onto the healthcare system, more people requiring medical services, more drugs are required, more hospital beds are required,” Chris Chia, managing partner at Kendall Court told Reuters in an interview.
“Public hospitals are all at breakneck capacity,” said Chia, adding that private hospitals were working with the government to cater to public patients.
MMI, part of the Selaras Group conglomerate which is focused on hospitality, healthcare and property, already operates a 218-bed hospital in Karawang, about 50 km (30 miles) east of Jakarta.
The Indonesian group plans to invest about $95 million to build two more hospitals in Indonesia as part of its expansion strategy.
Siloam International Hospitals Tbk PT and Mitra Keluarga Karyasehat Tbk PT are among the biggest hospital operators in Indonesia.
MMI Director Benedictus Widaja said MMI will build a network of hospitals focused on cardio-vascular, neuroscience and cancer specialties.
The new 70,000-square metre general hospital in Jakarta would be among the city’s biggest hospitals and start operations at the end of 2019, said Widaja.
New local rules allowing ASEAN investors to acquire a maximum stake of 70 percent in general hospitals in Indonesia, were encouraging investors to pump money in the industry, said Chia, a former banker, who co-founded Kendall Court in 2004.
Kendall Court counts several institutional and high net worth investors among its backers and has deployed and managed over $600 million in Southeast Asia in various sectors. (Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Editing by Richard Pullin)