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MPIC abandons plan to list hospitals unit

Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has shelved its plan to list its hospital unit via an initial public offering (IPO) this year.

"I think, I've been successful in convincing them not to IPO the hospitals space," Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings Inc. president and CEO Augusto Palisco Jr. said in a press briefing in Makati City on Thursday.

In 2017, MPIC announced it is looking into the possibility of its hospital business on the Philippine Stock Exchange slated for 2019. 

For his part, MPIC chief finance officer David Nicol said the company decided not to push through with its IPO plan for the hospital group because the "funding environment is a lot more benign for us given the lower interest rates."

Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings currently has 14 hospitals with around 3,200 beds in its network. Hospitals under the group's portfolio include the Makati Medical Center, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Asian Hospital, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, De Los Santos Medical Center, Manila Doctors Hospital, Marikina Valley Medical Center, and Dr. Jesus Delgado Memorial Hospital.

The group also has interest in Riverside Medical Center in Bacolod, Davao Doctors Hospital, Central Luzon Doctors Hospitals in Tarlaco, West Metro Medical Center in Zamboanga, Sacred Heart Hospital of Malolos, and St. Elizabeth Hospital in Gen. Santos City.

"I believe the course of action might be towards more on private transaction, possibly with another investor," Palisco said.

"As far as the hospitals group is concerned we'll just continue to deliver the good results we have been doing," Palisoc added. "The business is strong enough by itself."

Nicol, however, said the move is not definitive yet at this stage.

For the first quarter of 2019, Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings reported a 17-percent rise in revenue on the back of 10-percent increase in outpatient visits to 919,539 and 7-percent growth in inpatient admission to 50,227. —KBK, GMA News