Sunway Group Partners with Singapore’s GIC to Expand Healthcare Unit


Sunway Group—controlled by billionaire Jeffrey Cheah—said it has agreed to sell 16% of its healthcare unit to Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC for 750 million ringgit ($180 million) to help bankroll expansion plans across Malaysia.

The transaction, which values Sunway Healthcare at 4.7 billion ringgit, will also help prepare the company for an eventual initial public offering and listing on Bursa Malaysia, Sunway Group said in a stock exchange filing.

“The Sunway-GIC partnership will further enhance the value of Sunway Healthcare and that together we can realise the full potential of our healthcare business,” Cheah, founder and chairman of Sunway Group, said in a statement.

Cheah was ranked the country’s 15th richest individual with a net worth about $1.4 billion when the Malaysia Rich List was published earlier this month. He built his fortunes in the past four decades by transforming his obscure tin-mining company into a conglomerate with interests in education, real estate, infrastructure, fintech and healthcare.

Sunway Healthcare currently operates two hospitals with about 700 beds in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, about 25 kilometers west of the Malaysian capital. The company plans to build six new hospitals across the country to bring its capacity to 3,000 beds over the next few years.

The company will also invest in related businesses such as home healthcare, senior living residences and telemedicine. In 2022, it will launch Sunway Sanctuary, which comprises 500 suites for senior living that sits right above Sunway Medical Centre in Sunway City, a former tin mine outside Kuala Lumpur that the company built into a modern township.

“Private healthcare in Malaysia will benefit from trends such as an aging population, the expanding and rising affluence of its middle class as well as a robust healthcare insurance penetration,” said Amit Kunal, Head of Direct Investments Group (Southeast Asia) of Private Equity at GIC.

“In addition, medical tourism is expected to resume after Covid-19-related travel restrictions ease. Malaysia will remain an attractive medical tourist destination.”

GIC has an established track record in the healthcare industry globally, with investments across public and private markets in U.S., Australia, Brazil, Philippines, China and Vietnam.

Last year, GIC led a consortium that bought a stake in Vinmec, the medical unit of Vietnam’s largest conglomerate Vingroup. In 2019, it joined a KKR-led consortium that bought a 42.5% stake in the Philippines’ largest private hospital from Metro Pacific Investments.

Author: Jonathan Burgos
Publication: Forbes
Title: Malaysian Tycoon Jeffrey Cheah’s Sunway Group Partners with Singapore’s GIC to Expand Healthcare Unit

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