Hong Seng to acquire 51% stake in Pow Pocket for RM200m

Pow Pocket, a web-based digital health engine, is an investment holding for health technologies that operate Jengu

by ANIS HAZIM / Pic credit: emedasia.com

HONG Seng Consolidated Bhd’s wholly owned subsidiary, HS Bio Sdn Bhd has entered into an agreement to acquire 51% equity interest in Pow Pocket Sdn Bhd for a total purchase consideration of RM200 million.

Pow Pocket is an investment holding for health technologies that operate Jengu, a web-based digital health engine dedicated to Covid-19 screening, vaccination and digital health.

It also operates a digital platform for public and private vaccination rollout, ImmuPlan in Johor under the guidance of the Johor Biotechnology and Biodiversity Corp.

Hong Seng non-executive chairman Datuk Seri Dr Chen Chaw Min said the proposed acquisition is a strategic move to work exclusively together and strengthen the synergies with its other healthcare subsidiaries.

“This is part of the continuous initiatives of HS Bio to drive its healthcare business forward and further deepen its capabilities in HealthChain which is in line with the government’s 12th Malaysia Plan.

“It aims to enhance healthcare service delivery by leveraging technology, including digitising healthcare services and improving research, development and innovation capacity,” Chen said at the launch event yesterday.

Pow Pocket also announced its ImmuPlan’s platform engine, Immunise which will become an open and inclusive platform aimed at capturing the demand for booster and juvenile vaccination shots in the country.

Its MD Russell Walter Boyd said Immunise works by democratising and decentralising private vaccine delivery by empowering communities and doctors to make decisions on inoculation.

“The Immunise platform will cover everything from online booking and scheduling a vaccine,to back-end order management, physical vaccine delivery and cold chain, refunds, reconciliation and invoicing, key performance indicator dashboarding and reporting.

“We are now moving from adult vaccines to juvenile and booster shots, facilitating a recurring demand for both localised and personalised vaccine delivery,” he stated.

He said the group estimates RM10 billion of doses will be required in 2022 to cover the adult population in Malaysia aged above 18, juveniles aged 12 to 17, and migrant workers.

On Sept 29, HS Bio via its 52%-owned subsidiary, eMed Asia Sdn Bhd had entered into a collaboration agreement with Pow Pocket to work together on the digitisation of healthcare services nationwide through their respective e-commerce platforms.

“The synergy of each parties’ strengths will enable many more people to get access to vaccines, Covid-19 tests and health screenings and other health-related products and services for their protection against the virus by leveraging their network that reaches 8,000 existing private clinics nationwide,” it said.

Besides, Pow Pocket also owns 40% equity interest in Neogenix Sdn Bhd (a 60% owned subsidiary of HS Bio) which operates a health screenings web portal for inbound travellers in Johor.

HS Bio is set to be the main digital healthcare platform to help the government and nation to revolutionise private healthcare in Malaysia.

On the other hand, its parent company, Hong Seng had previously disposed of its entire stake in Hong Seng Priority Management Sdn Bhd (HSPM) to Robust Potential Sdn Bhd for RM34.5 million on Sept 24.

The disposal gain from the deal is estimated at RM31.2 million which could be reallocated to mainly fund Hong Seng’s healthcare and glove businesses.