Ardmore Medical Group puts IPO plans on hold

Ardmore Medical Group has put its initial public offering (IPO) plans on hold in view of "ongoing developments to its business" and the "current market conditions and geopolitical climate", it said yesterday.

The firm, which specialises in orthopaedic surgery, aesthetics and pain management, lodged its draft prospectus for an IPO on the Catalist board on June 28. It was reported then that investors should study the risk factors listed in the document.

A key concern related to the death of a patient under the care of founder and chief executive Sean Ng, who accounts for 42.9 per cent of group revenue with his profit contribution in the same range.

The patient died in November 2016 after a total knee replacement procedure performed by Dr Ng at a local hospital resulted in a surgical complication. An inquiry by the coroner's court is ongoing.

The hospital conducted its own internal inquiry and suspended Dr Ng from admitting and operating on patients on its premises for eight months. He was still able to see patients at his private clinic at the hospital during this period, but had to perform operations elsewhere.

The hospital also lodged a complaint with the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) against Dr Ng in May 2017 for insufficient documentation and medical assessment, including making certain retrospective entries, among other things.

A key concern related to the death of a patient under the care of founder and chief executive Sean Ng, who accounts for 42.9 per cent of group revenue with his profit contribution in the same range.

SMC is investigating but the medical watchdog's probes are notoriously slow-moving and if the case is escalated to a disciplinary tribunal, it could take years before a verdict is reached, noted a media report.

Ardmore Medical said in its statement yesterday that the group remains optimistic about its expansion and diversification plans. "We are confident in our prospects and potential, given that our business is fundamentally strong. We remain committed to delivering results that will bring a good value proposition to our investors should we decide to tap the capital markets."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2019, with the headline 'Ardmore Medical Group puts IPO plans on hold'. Print Edition | Subscribe