Medi­clinic buys Swiss hos­pi­tal stake via Hirs­lan­den

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT - Sandile Mchunu

PRI­VATE health­care group Medi­clinic In­ter­na­tional has ac­quired a con­trol­ling in­ter­est in Linde Hold­ing Biel for a to­tal con­sid­er­a­tion of 69 mil­lion Swiss francs (R917m) through its Swiss sub­sidiary, Hirs­lan­den.

The group said Hirs­lan­den suc­cess­fully ac­quired 64 per­cent of the is­sued share cap­i­tal of Linde, leav­ing out­stand­ing Linde share­hold­ers un­til July to ac­cept the of­fer of 3 100 Swiss francs a share.

Hirs­lan­den chief ex­ec­u­tive Ole Wiesinger said the com­pany had fol­lowed a growth strat­egy for years, both in the in­pa­tient and out­pa­tient sec­tors.

“Our goal is to de­velop re­gional med­i­cal care net­works so as to cre­ate the max­i­mum ben­e­fits pos­si­ble for our pa­tients. The range of med­i­cal ser­vices of­fered by Linde and their phys­i­cal in­fras­truc­ture are ex­cel­lent,” Wiesinger said.

“We will con­tinue to de­velop the hos­pi­tal to­gether with the af­fil­i­ated doc­tors. This trans­ac­tion will al­low Hirs­lan­den to build on its strong mar­ket po­si­tion in the re­gion to de­liver future growth. We are de­lighted that Linde is now part of the Hirs­lan­den group.”

Linde is a lead­ing pri­vate hos­pi­tal in the Biel re­gion of Switzer­land of­fer­ing a wide range of med­i­cal care with 115 beds, an out­pa­tient clinic fa­cil­ity, emer­gency unit, six op­er­at­ing theatres, phys­io­ther­apy, ra­di­ol­ogy and oph­thal­mol­ogy cen­tres.

Re­cently the com­pany ex­panded its main build­ing with a new north wing. In 2016 Linde treated 6 043 in­pa­tients and 38 446 out­pa­tients and gen­er­ated rev­enue of 91m Swiss francs and earn­ings be­fore in­ter­est, tax, de­pre­ci­a­tion and amor­ti­sa­tion of 9m Swiss francs.

Linde also has more than 80 af­fil­i­ated doc­tors and 434 staff work­ing at the hos­pi­tal.

“Linde will ben­e­fit from the co-op­er­a­tion with Hirs­lan­den Klinik Beau-Site in Bern and Hirs­lan­den Klinik Aa­rau, fa­cil­i­tat­ing the re­cruit­ment of highly-spe­cialised medicine pa­tients,” said Wiesinger, ad­ding that upon the com­ple­tion of the trans­ac­tion, Hirs­lan­den would con­sist of 17 hos­pi­tals.

The deal has the back­ing of Linde chair­per­son Kurt Ae­ber­hard. “With the de­ci­sion of the share­hold­ers, Pri­vate Klinik Linde has en­tered a new di­men­sion. We are con­vinced that this step will al­low us to move into the future with greater con­fi­dence,” said Ae­ber­hard.

Medi­clinic Group has a port­fo­lio of 74 hos­pi­tals and 37 clin­ics spread through south­ern Africa, South Africa and Namibia. Its in­ter­na­tional op­er­a­tions are in Switzer­land and the United Arab Emirates. The group’s core pur­pose is to en­hance the qual­ity of life of pa­tients by pro­vid­ing acute care, spe­cial­ist-ori­en­tated, mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary health­care ser­vices.

It also holds a 29.9 per­cent in­ter­est in Spire Health­care Group, a Lon­don Stock Ex­change (LSE) listed and UKbased pri­vate health­care group. Medi­clinic has a pri­mary list­ing on the LSE, with se­condary list­ings on the JSE and the Namib­ian Stock Ex­change.

In the year to end March, Medi­clinic re­ported a 26 per­cent in­crease in op­er­at­ing profit to £362m (R5.93bn) and a 30 per­cent in­crease in rev­enue to £2.75 billion. The group achieved this de­spite prob­lems with Al Noor in Abu Dhabi.

Trad­ing con­di­tions re­mained chal­leng­ing in Abu Dhabi with pa­tient vol­umes and op­er­at­ing per­for­mance be­low ex­pec­ta­tions. Medi­clinic shares dropped 1.19 per­cent on the JSE yes­ter­day to close at R124.12.

PHOTO: THOBILE MATHONSI

Medi­clinic pri­vate hos­pi­tal in Mid­stream Es­tate in Cen­tu­rion. The com­pany re­ported a 26 per­cent in­crease in op­er­at­ing profit to £362m in March.

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