IHH Healthcare explores sale of education arm

Deliberations are ongoing and there is no certainty that IHH will proceed with the sale of education arm International Medical University.
Deliberations are ongoing and there is no certainty that IHH will proceed with the sale of education arm International Medical University.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM GOOGLE MAPS

KUALA LUMPUR (BLOOMBERG) - IHH Healthcare, Asia's biggest hospital group by market value, is exploring a sale of its medical education arm International Medical University, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Malaysian company is working with Rippledot Capital Advisers on the potential deal, the people said. A sale of the education unit could fetch about US$300 million (S$401.65 million), said the people, asking not to be named as the process is private.

Deliberations are ongoing and there is no certainty that IHH will proceed with a transaction, the people said. A representative for IHH declined to comment, adding the company will provide updates if there are any material developments. A representative for Rippledot also declined to comment.

IHH, which operates 80 hospitals from China to Eastern Europe, has been shifting its business strategy under chief executive officer Kelvin Loh Chi-Keon, who joined in 2019. After several years of making acquisitions, management is focusing on extracting value from its existing assets and divestments.

In November it announced the sale of its 5 per cent stake in an Indian joint venture to its partner Apollo Hospitals Enterprise for RM227 million (S$74.6 million).

Founded in 1992 as International Medical College, IMU offers more than 20 health professional programmes ranging from pre-university to postgraduate across fields from medicine to dentistry. Its main campus is situated in Kuala Lumpur.

The IMU unit generated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of RM75.7 million in 2020, slightly lower than RM87.2 million in the previous year, according to IHH's latest annual report.