Business

Rowsley rouses investors, share prices up

Billionaire Peter Lim plans to inject assets worth $1.9 billion into Rowsley


Price of Rowsley shares have skyrocketed - nearly doubling - after controlling shareholder and billionaire Peter Lim unveiled plans to inject medical assets said to be worth up to $1.9 billion into it.

The counter shot up 6.8 cents, or 93.15 per cent, to 14.1 cents yesterday on news Mr Lim will pour his 100 per cent stake in private firm Thomson Medical and 70.36 per cent stake in Malaysia-listed TMC Life Sciences into Rowsley.

The real estate and investment company was the most heavily traded counter, with about 469 million shares changing hands.

BALLOON

It will fund the purchase by issuing Mr Lim new shares at 7.5 cents each. Rowsley's share base will balloon to five times what it is now.

If the deal proceeds as planned, Rowsley also proposes to give shareholders two bonus warrants for every one share they own, with an exercise price of nine cents.

I think we can do better. We're targeting $5 billion for a start and trying to grow that. Chairman of Thomson Medical private firm and chief executive of TMC Life Sciences, Mr Roy Quek, last September on how the Thomson Medical group was aiming for an initial public offering

For each bonus warrant exercised, shareholders will also get one more piggyback warrant that can be exercised at 12 cents.

On July 14, before a trading halt was called, Rowsley shares had already started to stir, jumping 10.61 per cent in a day.

The move may have caught many by surprise.

As recently as September last year, Mr Roy Quek, chairman of Thomson Medical private firm and chief executive of TMC Life Sciences, told The Business Times that the Thomson Medical group was gunning for an initial public offering.

He told BT: "If we were to do a listing now, we would probably have a market capitalisation of $2 billion to $3 billion.

"I think we can do better. We're targeting $5 billion for a start and trying to grow that."

When contacted by The Straits Times, Mr Quek said he was unable to comment as talks are ongoing.

Thomson Medical owns the 190-bed women and children's hospital Thomson Medical Centre here.

It had previously declared plans to add 300 beds to its capacity, but has yet to receive the relevant approvals from the Health Ministry.

TMC owns the 200-bed Tropicana Medical Centre in Petaling Jaya, and plans to develop a 500-bed hospital, Thomson Iskandar, next to Rowsley's Vantage Bay Healthcare City in Johor Baru. Construction there has been delayed, pending regulatory approval.

Rowsley did not go into details about how Mr Lim's healthcare assets had been valued.

The price will be finalised after due diligence. TMC has a market cap of RM1.36 billion (S$434 million). Mr Lim bought Thomson Medical Centre for around $513 million in 2010.

Rowsley suffered a net loss in the quarter to March 31 due to staff costs jumping 19 per cent.

 

 

 

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