MANILA (Reuters) - Philippines’ Metro Pacific Investments Corp expects its hospital unit to be valued at $2 billion as it sells a minority stake in the healthcare group, its chairman said on Wednesday.
The investment and infrastructure holding company plans to sell a portion of its 85.6% stake in Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc later this year, Metro Pacific Chairman Manuel Pangilinan said.
Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC owns the rest of the hospital group, which operates 14 hospitals, many of which are among the country’s largest.
“It is tempting for Metro Pacific to realize some value and liquefy part of it,” said an executive of the hospital group who was not authorized to speak with media.
The hospital group plans to expand its network to 5,000 beds in the coming years from the current 3,200 beds by acquiring smaller hospitals, Metro Pacific said in its website.
Metro Pacific could justify its target valuation of $2 billion given the size and strong bottom line of its hospital unit, as well as the country’s increasing need for quality healthcare, an investment banker said, requesting anonymity.
“Healthcare services, specifically hospital operators, have been trading at lofty valuations throughout the region,” said the banker, who was not authorized to speak with media.
Metro Pacific, which is also into power and water utilities, toll roads and railways, is a unit of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co Ltd that is owned by Indonesian tycoon Anthoni Salim.
Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips