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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

S'pore billionaire's company stock up 15% on possible corporate plan (Star)

Market speculation that TMC Life Sciences Bhd may be involved in a corporate exercise has led to punters chasing up the share price by 15.63% over the past two trading days.

Singapore billionaire Peter Lim Eng Hock is rumoured to be thinking of parking all his healthcare services assets in Malaysia and Singapore under TMC Life, according to sources. Lim is a major shareholder of the company with a 76.57% stake. ..

The corporate exercise, sources said, would see two hospital assets – Tropicana Medical Centre in Petaling Jaya and Thomson Medical Centre in Singapore – being parked under Bursa Malaysia-listed TMC Life.

Sources said Lim was looking to execute the corporate exercise given the current strong appetite for healthcare assets, which tend to command a premium to market valuations.

“A stronger control of TMC Life would allow Lim to inject his Singapore assets under one entity. This would see Lim indirectly re-floating the Thomson Medical Centre on the Malaysian stock market at a higher premium,” a source said.

Lim wholly-owns Thomson Medical Centre Pte Ltd, which was once listed on the Singapore Stock exchange. It was privatised in 2011 by Lim via his vehicle Sasteria Pte Ltd in a deal that valued it at S$513mil (RM1.31bil) or S$1.75 per share.

It was then reported that the privatisation had valued Thomson Medical Centre at up to 30 times estimated street earnings in its financial year 2011.

“Thomson Medical could easily fetch premiums of anywhere between 40-50 times forward earnings,” a healthcare analyst said.

In early August, Lim acquired an additional 26.6% in TMC Life from tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun for 48 sen per share, raising his stake in the company to 59.2% and triggering an MGO for the rest of the shares he did not already own.

When the MGO closed on Sept 18, Lim had increased his stake in the company to the current 76.57% stake.

In a recent announcement to Bursa Malaysia, TMC Life said it was planning to address the non-compliance with the public shareholding spread requirement, which stated that a company must ensure that at least 25% of its total listed shares were in the hands of public shareholders.

It noted that Lim intended to retain the listing status of the company, which would explore various options or proposals to rectify the public shareholding spread.

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