Nov. 25 (Bloomberg) -- A unit of Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, may buy a stake in Turkey’s largest hospital chain, Acibadem Saglik Hizmetleri & Ticaret AS, three people with knowledge of the talks said.
The Malaysian fund, which is bidding through its hospital unit Integrated Healthcare Holdings Sdn., is in exclusive talks with Acibadem’s co-owner Abraaj Capital Ltd. after it outbid rivals including Fortis Healthcare International Pte Ltd., said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. Abraaj is close to reaching a deal for the stake, one of the people said.
Turkey’s growing health-care industry has attracted international investors including Carlyle Group, the world’s second-largest private-equity firm, which bought 40 percent of hospital operator Medical Park Saglik Grubu AS for $150 million in 2009. Asia Debt Management Capital of Hong Kong, PGGM NV and the World Bank’s International Finance Corp. agreed to buy a 26 percent stake in Turkish hospital chain Universal Saglik Yatirimlari Holding AS for $140 million in May.
Abraaj Capital, based in Dubai and holding 46 percent of Acibadem, hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Merrill Lynch in June to study options for the stake.
The offer by Khazanah, based in Kuala Lumpur, values the stake at about $1 billion, a person familiar with the talks said earlier this month. Acibadem, which has a market value of 2.1 billion lira ($1.1 billion), runs 11 general hospitals, eight medical centers and a laboratory and genetic diagnostic center in Turkey, according to its website.
Abraaj’s Turkey director, Selcuk Yorgancioglu, couldn’t be reached by telephone, nor could a representative of Khazanah when called after normal business hours.
Khazanah can commit to long holding periods and afford to pay high prices for hospital assets as it expands in emerging markets, one of the people said. In July 2010, the sovereign wealth fund offered $2.6 billion for the part of Singapore’s Parkway Holdings Ltd. it didn’t already own, beating New Dehli- based Fortis Healthcare Ltd. to Asia’s biggest hospital operator. Khazanah’s offer for the 76.1 percent stake in Parkway valued it at about 28 times estimated 2010 earnings.
Abraaj and the Aydinlar family each own half of Almond Holding AS, which in turn owns about 92 percent of Acibadem. The Aydinlar family isn’t involved in the sale, Acibadem Chairman Mehmet Ali Aydinlar has said. Abraaj, the biggest buyout firm in the Middle East and North Africa, bought the Acibadem stake for about $606 million in 2007 and 2008.
--With assistance from Albertina Torsoli in Paris and Joyce Koh in Singapore. Editors: Chris V. Nicholson, Edward Evans
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