Johor Corp., a Malaysian state-owned investment company, is weighing strategic options for health-care provider KPJ Healthcare Bhd., according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The investment arm of the Johor state government is seeking ideas from potential advisers, said the people. Options could include bringing in an investor with experience in the sector or a merger with another hospital operator, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the process is private.
Johor Corp. has indicated that it would want to maintain its controlling stake in any deal for the Kuala Lumpur-listed firm, said one of the people. It owns 38.7% of KPJ, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Deliberations are at an early stage and there is no certainty that a transaction will result, said the people.
Ahmad Shahizam Mohd Shariff, KPJ president and managing director, said management’s transformation plans to re-energize and grow its businesses were recently approved by the board. The board includes representatives of some of KPJ’s main institutional shareholders, including Johor Corp., he said. A representative for Johor Corp. referred Bloomberg to KPJ’s response.
KPJ, which has a market value of 4.1 billion ringgit ($1 billion), started in 1981 as the first specialist private hospital in Johor, according to its website. Today, it has more than 28 specialist hospitals located throughout the Southeast Asian nation. The health-care provider also has investments in hospitals in Indonesia, Bangkok and Bangladesh as well in a retirement resort in Australia.
Shares in KPJ fell as much as 2.6% in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. They have declined 4.5% in the year to date.