Metro Pacific seen adding 8th hospital to portfolio

Firm in talks to acquire Tarlac facility

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02:07 AM March 11th, 2013

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By: Doris C. Dumlao, March 11th, 2013 02:07 AM

Infrastructure holding firm Metro Pacific Investments Corp. seeks to add an eighth hospital to its growing healthcare portfolio with the prospective acquisition of the 200-bed Central Luzon Doctors Hospital (CLDH) in Tarlac City.

MPIC also aims to seal within the month its purchase of a majority stake in the company that owns and operates the 150-bed Delos Santos Medical Center, which will be the seventh in its hospital chain, according to Augie Palisoc Jr., MPIC executive director for the hospital group. An agreement signed last year was still subject to some closing conditions that the group aims to fulfill soon.

On CLDH, the group has been in talks with the family of Constante Quirino for the last few years. The Inquirer reported in 2011 the discussions on the prospective acquisition of the Tarlac hospital. “Hopefully, we are in the final stages of negotiation and we would like to complete the transaction and come up with an agreement at the soonest time possible,” Palisoc said.

CLDH was incorporated in 1962 by a group of doctors who saw the need for an alternative private healthcare provider in the province of Tarlac. The hospital has an authorized capital base of P200 million consisting of two million shares, one million of which are preferred shares and one million common shares with a par value of P100 each. Subscribed capital consisted of 7,375 preferred shares and 9,947 common shares. Based on the hospital’s website, CLDH president and chairman Benjamin Paz passed away in Tarlac City last Jan. 15. A new chair, Dorcas Narvaez-Lumba, was elected last month.

MPIC president Jose Ma. Lim said on Friday that for the hospital business, the group has earmarked up to P3.5 billion for new acquisitions and a prospective increase in ownership in the existing hospitals under the network. The budget calls for the acquisition of four new hospitals with 200 (or less) beds, adding to the group’s existing hospital portfolio of 2,000 beds (including Delos Santos Medical Center).

The six hospitals in the group’s current portfolio are Makati Medical Center, Davao Doctors Hospital, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Riverside Medical Center, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and Asian Hospital and Medical Center.

Lim said the group was considering to create a separate holding company for the hospital group but bringing this unit to public hands was seen “premature at this stage.”

“The hospital accounts for 5 percent of our portfolio. We’d like to increase the number of beds as well as ownership in existing hospitals to allow it to be a more significant contributor,” Lim said. “We need a few (more hospitals) in North Luzon or Central Luzon and we need additional ones in Cebu.”

Historically, Palisoc said MPIC had been able to close one hospital deal every year except in 2010 when it closed two (Riverside and Lourdes). Last year, it signed an agreement on Delos Santos Medical Center but has not taken over control of the hospital as the deal had yet to be closed.

In 2012, the hospital group chalked up a core net profit of P722 million, up 29 percent from a year before. This represented about 11 percent of MPIC’s core net profit of P6.5 billion (+28 percent).

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