EPF exiting healthcare provider Columbia Asia

PETALING JAYA: The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is selling its close to 30% interest in Columbia Asia Sdn Bhd (CASB) for an undisclosed sum, according to its annual report released on Friday.

The fund has reclassified the cost of investment in CASB of RM203.21 million as assets held-for-sale, with the sale to be completed this month.

It said the decision to sell was approved by its investment panel on Nov 7, 2017. The identity of the buyer could not be immediately ascertained.

EPF currently owns a 12.65% stake in KPJ Healthcare Bhd and an 8.7% interest in IHH Healthcare Bhd.

According to the 2017 annual report other assets held for sale are 38 units of investment properties of CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and one unit of land at Petra Jaya, . These assets are in the process of disposal and are expected to be sold completely this year.

CASB is an international private healthcare company incorporated in in 1996.

According to its latest filing with the Companies Commission of Malaysia, EPF owns a 29.7% interest in CASB and Columbia Asia Healthcare Sdn Bhd, previously known as Columbia Healthcare Sdn Bhd has 69.4%. The remainder is held by eight individuals. Columbia Asia Healthcare is fully owned by US-based fund International Columbia US LLC.

According to its last audited financial results, CASB made a net profit of RM31.3 million on revenue of RM506.0 million for the ended March 31, 2017. It has RM1.2 billion in assets and RM539.7 million in liabilities.

Columbia Asia Group is owned by more than 150 private equity companies, fund management organisations and individual investors.

While it is not clear which operations are parked under CASB today, Columbia Asia as a group currently has 12 medical facilities in Malaysia, 12 in India, three in , three in Indonesia and one in Kenya.

The hospitals of Columbia Asia provide an array of specialised services including general surgery, paediatrics, obstetrics & gynaecology, orthopaedics, internal medicine, oncology, cardiology, neuro surgery, bariatric surgery and more.

Columbia Asia Group received additional equity investment of US$210 million (RM820 million) from existing shareholders to build new hospitals and deepen the level of specialty care in existing facilities. A majority of the funds were invested by Tokyo-based Mitsui & Co Ltd.

As of March this year, the group has added 342 beds across facilities in Malaysia, India and Indonesia. It aims to have more than 4,000 beds in Asia by 2025.

Source: The Sun Daily

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