Singapore

SPH makes foray into healthcare with Orange Valley purchase

Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) is entering the healthcare sector with the purchase of nursing home operator Orange Valley Healthcare for $164 million.

The media and property group noted that increasing demand for eldercare services from an ageing society, coupled with the perennial problem of insufficient nursing home beds, made it an attractive long-term business strategy.

SPH chief executive Alan Chan said in a statement: "The investment gives us an opportunity to contribute to the healthcare needs of our ageing community."

He said SPH looks forward to partnering the management and staff of Orange Valley to provide "caring, competent and compassionate service to the elderly and caregivers".

"We also look forward to working with the Ministry of Health and the regional healthcare systems to improve the accessibility and quality of aged care in Singapore," added Mr Chan.

Deputy chief executive Anthony Tan said the acquisition offers a source of stable revenues for SPH.

"It meets our need to broaden and make our revenue base a bit more resilient so that we are able to, in a way, make sure that our core media business can go on and fulfil our objectives," he said.

SPH reported earlier this month that net profit for the second quarter dipped 1.2 per cent while recurring earnings from day-to-day operations were 22.2 per cent lower, mainly due to weakness in its media business.

Its property business, including malls such as Paragon and The Clementi Mall, fared better.

Orange Valley, which has about 500 employees, runs five nursing homes in Changi, Clementi, Marsiling, Simei and Sims Avenue.

It has more than 900 beds in all, making it one of the largest private nursing home operators in Singapore.

Orange Valley, which had a net asset value of about $71 million as at March 31, owns five subsidiaries.

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