Noth­ing de­cided on Vi­tals - Mon­tene­gro deal, VGH of­fi­cials say

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - Kevin Schem­bri Or­land

Noth­ing has been de­cided in the Vi­tals Global Health­care – Mon­tene­gro health­care deal, VGH Di­rec­tor Ram Tu­mu­luri and CEO Ar­min Ernst told The Malta In­de­pen­dent in a meet­ing. Re­cent Mal­tese me­dia re­ports read that Vi­tals Global Health­care was to sign a 30-year con­tract in Mon­tene­gro for the run­ning of state hos­pi­tals.

Mr Tu­mu­luri said that VGH de­liv­ered a pre­sen­ta­tion there. “We have done our due dili­gence on Mon­tene­gro, and we felt the coun­try re­quires in­vest­ment in health­care, which is no se­cret. We are tar­get­ing coun­tries with a pop­u­la­tion of 5 mil­lion or less. We do not want to go to a con­ti­nent too far from our ex­ist­ing op­er­a­tion, and when we looked at the Balkans, Mon­tene­gro seems like the right next step as it has a pop­u­la­tion of around 650,000. We can’t go from a coun­try with half a mil­lion to one with 20 mil­lion.

“It is still just an eval­u­a­tion of an op­por­tu­nity. If you read news­pa­pers in Mon­tene­gro, we de­liv­ered a pre­sen­ta­tion say­ing that given the op­por­tu­nity, we would like to present this to the Mon­tene­gro govern­ment. They told us that if they choose to go for­ward they would need to go through the process and pro­ce­dures. We said we would be very happy to par­tic­i­pate, like we did here. It’s ba­si­cally op­por­tu­nity as­sess­ment and fact find­ing at the mo­ment,” Mr Tu­mu­luri added.

“We are keep­ing our eyes open for coun­tries in our prox­im­ity. Our fo­cus is cen­tral and east­ern Euro­pean mar­kets,” he said. He added that VGH is not tar­get­ing African coun­tries as to­day, it is not geared to de­liver health­care in Africa.

Asked about VGH rep­re­sen­ta­tives hav­ing met Min­is­ter Konrad Mizzi, prior to the Mal­tese call for pro­pos­als be­ing is­sued back in March 2015, the VGH Di­rec­tor re­it­er­ated what he has pre­vi­ously said.

“We were ap­proached as in­vestors by Malta En­ter­prise. ME’s re­spon­si­bil­ity is to seek for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment. We met them in New York, where they were de­liv­er­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion. We

were in­vited, and came here. We con­ducted our due dili­gence and de­liv­ered a pre­sen­ta­tion based on our fact find­ings, on what we would be in­ter­ested with re­gards to health­care in Malta”.

He said the pre­sen­ta­tion was ar­ranged by ME who also in­vited the Health Min­istry.

“I never met Min­is­ter Mizzi prior to that as we had no re­la­tion­ship. We met at the pre­sen­ta­tion.

“This was be­fore the re­quest for pro­pos­als, and they de­clined our pro­posal, say­ing this was not what they wanted, and that if they had some­thing we would be wel­come to par­tic­i­pate.

“They de­clined our pro­posal as we pro­posed 600 beds in Gozo for a large med­i­cal tourism hub. We had no in­ten­tions as re­gards Karen Grech Hospi­tal or St Luke’s Hospi­tal or any of those pieces. Govern­ment said this was not fea­si­ble and de­clined”.

He said that the pre­sen­ta­tion with the Min­istry of Health was in Jan­uary 2015.

“It’s the same as Mon­tene­gro, we sub­mit­ted what we can do. They can ac­cept or de­cline, or look into it”.

Fur­ther ex­plain­ing CEO of the Ox­ley Group Mark Paw­ley’s in­volve­ment, Mr Tu­mu­luri stressed that it is ac­tu­ally Mr Paw­ley who is the Ul­ti­mate Ben­e­fi­cial Owner of Vi­tals Global Health­care.

Mr Paw­ley is also a share­holder of Ox­ley, they said, adding that other Ox­ley share­hold­ers are not part of VGH.

Pre­sent­ing doc­u­ments to this news­room in the form of Cer­tifi­cates of In­cum­bency, Mr Tu­mu­luri ex­plained that Blue­stone In­vest­ments Malta Ltd is 100% owned by Blue­stone Spe­cial Sit­u­a­tion 4 Ltd (a BVI com­pany), which in turn is 100% owned by Asia Hari­mau In­vest­ments Ltd (an­other BVI com­pany), which is 100% owned by Mark Ed­ward Paw­ley. That is where it stops”.

Asia Hari­mau In­vest­ments Ltd has a sin­gle share­holder listed, Mark Ed­ward Paw­ley, and Mr Tu­mu­luri said that this is the top of the VGH chain. Mr Paw­ley is also the di­rec­tor of this com­pany and has been since 17 July 2009.

He said that Mr Paw­ley has ac­cess to funds from Ox­ley as well as two other reg­u­lated en­ti­ties, which are reg­u­lated com­pa­nies - fund man­agers, “so Ox­ley is where the funds are com­ing from. Be­cause it’s in­sti­tu­tional fund­ing, when the banks put into funds say­ing they would com­mit x amount, then Mark Paw­ley takes re­spon­si­bil­ity for that amount and he in­vests into com­pa­nies he deems suit­able in or­der to do the sus­tain­able busi­ness. VGH is one busi­ness he feels is a great long-term in­vest­ment to put in”.

“So far we in­vested €25 mil­lion all com­ing from Mark with Ox­ley Groups’ funds. There is no ex­ter­nal in­vestor so far.

“As we grow as a com­pany in other coun­tries there will be other in­vestors asked to come in. It is our obli­ga­tion to govern­ment to dis­close who these will be”.

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