BP Healthcare: Plans US$ 157 mio IPO through SPAC, said sources

Directors of BP Healthcare, a diagnostics-to-laboratory medical group, plan to raise up to RM500 million (US$157 million) through a special purpose acquisition vehicle (SPAC) listing next year, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the deal.

A SPAC is a shell company with no assets. It is set up with the intention of buying firms, usually within 2-3 years of listing, that will later be folded into the business.

The healthcare SPAC will use funds from the IPO to buy medical businesses, the sources said.

"They are planning to file the IPO application next month" one of the sources said, declining to be identified as the matter had not been officially announced.

The planned listing comes as healthcare spending in Southeast Asia is expected to climb, driven by growing and ageing populations as well as higher incomes.

The number of people over 65 in Southeast Asia is forecast to reach 36 million by 2020 from 25 million in 2010, according to analysts.

Unlisted BP Healthcare is Southeast Asia's largest medical diagnostic chain, with some 50 diagnostic centres, according to its official website.

/theSUN 03-09-2014

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