MVP-led Metro Pacific to acquire another hospital


MANILA, Philippines - Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) continues to solidify its position as the Philippines' largest hospital group.

Another hospital will now be under MPIC's wing, putting the Manuel V. Pangilinan-led company closer to its goal of running a chain of 15 hospitals in the country.

MPIC announced in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange that it agreed to buy 51% of the family-owned De Los Santos General Hospital Inc. (DLSGHI) as part of the latter's "P250-million capital raising exercise."

DLSGHI owns the De Los Santos Medical Center (DLSMC), a tertiary teaching and training hospital with a capacity of 150 beds located along E. Rodriguez Boulevard in Quezon City. The hospital was founded in 1973 by the late Dr. Jose De Los Santos Sr., considered the father of Philippine orthopedics. It has an affiliate - De Los Santos-STI Megaclinic Inc. - a 2,000 square meter ambulatory and diagnostic center in SM Megamall.

If the transaction is completed, the hospital will be the 7th owned by MPIC and will bring the company's total capacity to about 2,000 beds.

"There are still a number of conditions that need to be fulfilled, but assuming these are done, we hope to start making the investments by the first quarter of 2013," said Augie Palisoc Jr., MPIC Executive Director and President and CEO of the hospital group.

Dr. Jose De Los Santos Jr., President and CEO of DLSGHI and representing the De Los Santos family, said MPIC's experience will be "good" for the hospital and its patients.

MPIC's planned investment will be spent for the hospital's redevelopment, particularly the renovation and expansion of its facilities, upgrade of operating rooms and purchase of new medical equipment.

MPIC previously announced a goal of acquiring 15 hospitals, with approximately 3,000 beds, and this target may not be far from sight.

MPIC forayed into the hospital business through its investments in Makati Medical Center in 2007, and it has been on an acquisition binge since.

It now also controls Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and the Asian Hospital and Medical Center, all in Metro Manila; as well as Davao Doctors Hospital in Mindanao; and Riverside Medical Center in Bacolod.

For the first 9 months of 2012, the hospital group contributed positively to MPIC's bottom line, with a core net income of P537 million, up an annual 31%.

Aside from hospitals, MPIC is engaged in utilities through power retailer Manila Electric Co. and water distributor Maynilad Water Services Inc., and toll roads through Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., which holds the North Luzon Expressway concession. - Rappler.com