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Health insurance: Malaysia fund poised to win Singapore health group Parkway

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Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah is poised to take over Singapore-based healthcare provider Parkway after Fortis Healthcare of India dropped its own takeover plans on Monday.

Integrated Healthcare, a wholly-owned Khazanah unit, announced a sweetened offer worth 3.5 billion Singapore dollars (2.57 billion US) for the remaining shares in Parkway Holdings it does not already own.

The offer is triple the size of its 1.18 billion Singaporean dollar partial takeover launched in May for Parkway Holdings. Parkway Holdings, based in Singapore, is a leading healthcare services provider with a network of 16 hospitals providing more than 3,400 beds in the region including Malaysia, Brunei, India and China.

The Malaysian fund, which currently holds a 23.9 percent stake, upped its offer after Fortis Healthcare announced plans to exit from the bidding war. “If our voluntary general offer is successful, then we will be able to achieve the vision we outlined when we launched our partial offer, to create Asia’s premier regional healthcare platform,” Ahmad Shahizam Mohd Shariff, a director with Integrated Healthcare, said in a statement.

Integrated Healthcare’s general offer will close on August 16, it said in the statement. Earlier Fortis Healthcare announced that it would sell its 25-percent stake in Parkway Holdings for 1.12 billion dollars to the Malaysian outfit.

“Fortis will be divesting our strategic stake in Parkway and we have reached an agreement with Khazanah to accept their voluntary general offer,” Fortis chairman Malvinder Mohan Singh told reporters.

Singh told reporters in New Delhi the company believed “it is better to divest this asset and look at other investment opportunities. There are tremendous opportunities within the region which we will continue to explore.” Fortis will use the proceeds from the sale to fund its expansion elsewhere in Asia, Singh said.

Singapore, July 26, 2010 (AFP)