Johor Corp to explore options for KPJ Healthcare


JOHOR Corp is weighing strategic options for healthcare 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 advisors, 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 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.

KPJ president and MD Ahmad Shahizam Mohd Shariff (picture) said management’s transformation plans to re-energise 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 RM4.1 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 South-East Asian nation. The healthcare provider also has investments in hospitals in Indonesia, Bangkok and Bangladesh, as well in a retirement resort in Australia. — Bloomberg