Friday, December 3, 2010

Peter Lim mops up over 91% of Thomson Medical

The Business Times
3 Dec 2010
by Chen Huifen

THE route towards a delisting from the Singapore Exchange (SGX) appears to be set for Thomson Medical Centre, whose public float has fallen below the 10 per cent threshold required for continued listing.

By yesterday, its new owner Peter Lim had amassed 91.41 per cent of the healthcare services provider. And he still has about a week to go before his general offer closes on Dec 10.

The former 'remisier king' triggered a mandatory general offer in late October when he bought a 39.34 per cent stake in the obstetrics and gynaecology (O&G) centre from the founding Cheng family. The offer, at $1.75 a share, values Thomson Medical at $513 million.

In the past few weeks, Mr Lim has been raising his stake in Thomson Medical, through acquisitions in the open market as well as from accepting shares tendered in response to his cash offer.

Analysts had anticipated that shareholders would accept the offer, given that it represents a 30 times price-to-earnings ratio. Thomson Medical's historical average price-earnings ratio was about 15 times. The offer price was also a 62 per cent premium to Thomson Medical's share price before the announcement of Mr Lim's offer was made.

While Mr Lim has expressed his confidence in the hospital's 'potential to develop further as a regional healthcare company', he is keeping his plans close to his heart. It is not clear if he will seek synergies between Thomson Medical and other healthcare-related stocks he has invested in, such as TMC Life Sciences Bhd in Malaysia.

Thomson Medical posted a 24.2 per cent jump in full-year net profit to $15.88 million for the 12 months ended August. Revenue rose 21.2 per cent to $81.67 million.

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