Philippines’ Metro Pacific hospital unit attracts buyers for minority stake

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Philippines’ Metro Pacific Investments Corp has received interest from a variety of potential buyers for a minority stake in its hospital unit, which could be valued at up to $2.5 billion, company executives said on Thursday.

More than a dozen foreign and Philippine firms have shown interest in submitting first-round, non-binding bids this month, David Nicol, chief financial officer of Metro Pacific, told Reuters.

The investment and infrastructure holding company plans to sell a 40% stake in Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc at a valuation of $2-$2.5 billion, company chairman Manuel Pangilinan told Reuters.

Metro Pacific owns 85.6% of the healthcare unit. Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC owns the rest of the unit, which operates 14 hospitals, many of which are among the Philippines’ largest and most modern.

Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that potential bidders included Southeast Asian hospital groups, large Asian conglomerates, private equity firms and local companies.

“There’s interest from all over the world including our backyard,” Nicol said earlier on Thursday after Metro Pacific reported results.