Fullerton Health buys medical centres in Australia

Healthscope, Australia's second-largest private hospital operator, said it was selling its standalone medical centre operations to focus on its core hospitals and international pathology operations.
Healthscope, Australia's second-largest private hospital operator, said it was selling its standalone medical centre operations to focus on its core hospitals and international pathology operations.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

$59m purchase of 48 facilities from Healthscope to build regional presence, broaden network Down Under

Fullerton Health, the corporate healthcare solutions firm that set aside plans for a Singapore Exchange listing last year, has acquired 43 medical centres and five specialist clinics from Australia's Healthscope for A$55 million (S$59.4 million).

Healthscope, which is listed Down Under, said yesterday that the operations at these facilities contributed about 2 per cent of the group's operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of A$216.8 million in the first six months of this year. This works out to about A$4.3 million.

The 43 medical centres, four specialist skin clinics and one specialist breast diagnostic clinic are located in Victoria, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and Western Australia.

Healthscope is Australia's second-largest private hospital operator. It said it had decided to sell its standalone medical centre operations to focus on its core hospitals and international pathology operations.

Dr Michael Tan, co-founder and group chief executive of Fullerton Health, said the group is focused on building a strong presence in the region and on broadening its network in Australia.

"Through this acquisition, we will become the third-largest primary- care business in the country and will be well positioned to support even more doctors and clinics."

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of next month.

Fullerton Health already owns 225 medical centres in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China and New Zealand. Fullerton Australia employs more than 800 staff and provides services through 70 facilities in the country.

In November last year, Fullerton Health shelved plans for an initial public offering (IPO) amid anonymous complaints to the regulators over its business model.

In March, Fullerton Health raised US$175 million (S$238.6 million) through a perpetual bond offering, which it said would fund its aggressive acquisition trail. That bond had a coupon of 7 per cent a year up to 2020.

In June last year, Fullerton raised S$100 million in another bond offering to refinance bank debt.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2017, with the headline 'Fullerton Health buys medical centres in Australia'. Print Edition | Subscribe