Hong Leong confirms US$1.2b acquisition of Columbia Asia Hospitals

-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 13): Hong Leong Group has officially announced its US$1.2 billion (RM5.01 billion) acquisition of Columbia Asia Hospitals in South East Asia, confirming a report by The Edge Financial Daily yesterday.

In a statement today, Hong Leong said the group and alternative asset firm TPG will acquire 17 Columbia Asia Hospitals and one clinic in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, marking the group’s foray into healthcare.

Meanwhile, the 11 hospitals in India are not part of the transaction and will continue to operate under the existing ownership of International Columbia US, LLC, and management of Columbia Pacific Management.

“We are extremely excited to be entering the healthcare space and believe Columbia Asia Hospitals, with its current scale and uniquely differentiated business model, offers the right platform to capture the robust healthcare growth in South East Asia.

“We look forward to partnering with TPG, which has a stellar track record as a healthcare investor, and to working closely with Columbia Asia Hospitals’ management team to accelerate its next phase of growth,” said Hong Leong finance director Soon Seong Keat in a statement.

TPG senior advisor Tunku Ali Redhauddin said there is a compelling opportunity for Columbia Asia Hospitals to expand and scale regionally, based on the significant growth in Asia’s healthcare market.

“Columbia Asia Hospitals provide accessible, affordable and high-quality care in several countries, operating under one cohesive, recognisable brand. We are excited by the Group's modern and innovative approach and look forward to working closely with Hong Leong and the hospital's management team to continue to grow Columbia Asia Hospitals' footprint across South East Asia,” he said.

Columbia Pacific Management managing director Nate McLemore said the business model of delivering high quality, affordable healthcare to the growing middle-class population is highly scalable.

“This model will only get strengthened with Hong Leong and TPG’s market expertise, business insights and overall management capabilities. We look forward to partnering with these two world class organisations to continue to grow and expand the Columbia Asia platform,” said McLemore.

In an article dated Sept 12, The Edge Financial Daily reported that Hong Leong and TPG had won the bid to acquire Columbia Asia’s hospitals in South East Asia, beating other bidders including Sime Darby Bhd and US-based investment firm General Atlantic.

According to earlier news reports, Columbia Asia started a formal sale process earlier this year.

It drew first-round, non-binding bids from a number of investors, including sovereign wealth funds and private equity firms like KKR, CVC and Carlyle.

The last major healthcare transaction was in January this year, when IHH Healthcare Bhd completed the acquisition of a 31.17% stake in Fortis Healthcare Ltd in a US$584 million deal, allowing it to expand its footprint in India.