4 directors quit Healthway Medical ahead of Q2 report

Shares in HMC, one of Singapore's largest private clinic networks, are thinly traded and have plunged 48 per cent over the last year to close at three cents yesterday. Its clinic in Toa Payoh Central is pictured above.
Shares in HMC, one of Singapore's largest private clinic networks, are thinly traded and have plunged 48 per cent over the last year to close at three cents yesterday. Its clinic in Toa Payoh Central is pictured above.ST PHOTO: AZMI ATHNI

Besides the four directors, group president to leave firm in end-August

Four directors of Healthway Medical Corp (HMC) have quit suddenly ahead of the firm's second-quarter results release, citing various reasons.

It is unusual for half of a company's directors to leave at once, but independent director Sonny Yuen said the board reconstitution had been planned for the last couple of months. "The board churn is part of succession planning," he told The Straits Times last night.

Two of the firms' four remaining directors are new. Independent director Moses Lin, a senior associate at law firm Hill Dickinson, joined the board last week. Independent director Ho Sun Yee, former chief executive of the Singapore Heart Foundation, joined last month.

Meanwhile, group president Andrew Wong, who is on gardening leave, will resign at the end of the month after just six months on the job. The role is similar to that of a chief executive officer.

Mr Wong's predecessor, Mr Yeow Ming Ying, had resigned as president of the Singapore medical services division in March to pursue other interests. He stayed on as a non-executive director before quitting on Wednesday, according to filings to the Singapore Exchange near midnight that day.

The other independent directors who quit on Wednesday are Mr Pee Tong Lim and Mr Syed Abu Bakar S Mohsin Almohdzar, who left "of (their) own accord" after more than four years on the board. Ms Kuek Chiew Hia resigned of her own accord after serving more than eight years.

HMC has also changed financial controllers three times in the past 21/2years, though Mr Yuen said this is normal in today's labour market.

Shares in HMC, one of Singapore's largest private clinic networks, are thinly traded and have plunged 48 per cent over the last year to close at three cents yesterday.

The firm reported a net profit of $580,000 in the three months to March 31, down 83.5 per cent from a year earlier. Notably, HMC is owed $64 million from an unrelated "Party A", recorded as a loan receivable on its balance sheet.

HMC said in May that it plans to exercise a pre-existing option to acquire Party A, which owns medical clinics here. The $64 million that Party A has not repaid HMC will count towards the purchase consideration.

HMC made $4.2 million from management and administrative services rendered to Party A last year, according to its annual report.

Mr Yuen declined to comment on the deal with Party A ahead of HMC's earnings release, but the description of Party A is similar to that of former HMC unit Healthway Medical Enterprises, going by the past financial statements of both companies.

HMC sold this entity for just $2 million to a Mr Yeo Kay Beng in December 2010. It did not say how many properties were transferred to Mr Yeo as part of the deal. HMC also did not say how much of the money owed can be recovered.

Chairman Eric Wong Ong Ming, who could not be reached, is a former director of Healthway Medical Enterprises.

He took over at HMC from Mr Fan Kow Hin in May last year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2016, with the headline '4 directors quit Healthway Medical ahead of Q2 report'. Print Edition | Subscribe