Rowsley to buy Thomson Medical, TMC Life

By MARK RAO / Graphic By TMR

Rowsley Ltd has tabled a bid of S$1.6 billion (RM4.84 billion) to acquire controlling stakes in healthcare assets Thomson Medical Pte Ltd and TMC Life Sciences Bhd (TMCLS), as part of its plan to tap into the growing demand of private healthcare in Malaysia and Singapore.

The deal will see the Singapore-listed real estate and hospitality group taking over Sasteria Pte Ltd — which owns 100% and 70.36% stakes in Thomson Medical and TMCLS respectively — from shareholder Lim Eng Hock, with a purchase consideration that would be satisfied via an issuance of 21.3 billion new shares in Rowsley at S$0.08 per share.

The share placement will result in Lim increasing his shareholding in Rowsley from 45.36% to 90.07%, while the company is to be renamed Thomson Medical Group Ltd.

Rowsley will also acquire 597.32 million TMCLS warrants in cash, at a price equal to the volume-weighted average price of the warrants traded on Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd over a one-month period.

Rowsley chairman Ng Ser Miang said the successful completion of the acquisition will make the company one of the largest Singapore-listed healthcare players.

“Both Thomson Medical and TMCLS are well-positioned in their respective markets, and the purchase of Sasteria gives us an opportunity to participate in a fast growing sector.

“The changing demographics in South-East Asia suggest that private healthcare is poised for a sharp acceleration in growth,” Ng said in a statement yesterday.

The bid is aimed at facilitating Rowsley’s shift into the healthcare game as both Thomson Medical and TMCLS have expressed their intent on capitalisation on the increasing demand for healthcare services in the region.

TMCLS is planning to expand its tert iary and flagship hospital, Tropicana Medical Centre (TMC), to be among the largest integrated healthcare campuses in the Klang Valley by tripling its bed capacity from the current 205 to 600 by 2020.

The acquisition will also enable the Bursa-listed company and Rowsley to pool their resources together for the proposed Thomson Iskandar Medical Hub in Johor Baru, which is part of the latter’s RM5 billion Vantage Bay Healthcare City project.

Slated for completion in 2020, the Johor medical hub will comprise a 500-bed tertiary hospital, a 400-suite medical tower and a complementary retail space.

Meanwhile, Thomson Medical — Singapore’s largest private healthcare provider — is planning to expand from its current core obstetrics and gynaecology services into an integrated nationwide healthcare network.

This is to be achieved via the expansion of its current service offerings and the opening of more specialist clinics.

The proposed acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and approval from the upcoming EGM to be held in the first quarter of next year.