Ayala unit takes control of Qualimed 

AYALA HEALTHCARE Holdings, Inc. has acquired the controlling stake in the company behind the Qualimed health network, boosting the Ayala’s thrust into a sector that has become increasingly vital as the country grapples with the impact of the pandemic.

AC Health, the Ayala Corp. healthcare arm, said in a statement on Tuesday that it had signed through subsidiary Healthway Philippines, Inc. agreements to obtain a 54.2% stake in Mercado General Hospital, Inc., which owns Qualimed.

“The addition of a hospital platform to the AC Health portfolio will allow it to leverage operational efficiencies and to offer a full suite of services across the full continuum of care,” the listed conglomerate told the stock exchange.

The deal involves the acquisition of 28.13 million common shares and 330,607 preferred shares from White Knight Holdings, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Ayala Land, Inc., to give Healthway a 39.2% stake.

Healthway will also buy 10,887,842 common shares from 13 individuals — collectively, the Mercado group — to give it an equivalent 15% of the outstanding capital stock of shares of the hospital platform.

It will then subscribe to 38,250,000 cumulative, redeemable, and non-participating preferred shares from White Knight and the Mercado group equivalent to 34.51% of the outstanding capital stock of shares of the hospital to bring its voting interest to 70%.

“The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has renewed the Ayala Group’s commitment to invest in healthcare, and with this investment, we will be better positioned to provide much-needed healthcare services for the country,” Fernando Zobel de Ayala, chairman of the board of AC Health, said in the statement.

AC Health’s acquisition of Qualimed adds to the company’s current clinic and hospital portfolio, including all family, specialty, and corporate clinics.

Furthermore, with the addition of Qualimed, it now has four general hospitals, 85 outpatient clinics, 80 corporate clinics, and the first local cancer specialty hospital.

AC Health President and CEO Paolo Maximo F. Borromeo said the acquisition of Qualimed has completed its lineup for patient care, from primary clinics, multi-specialty care, and hospital care.

“We have taken a deliberate approach to building up our healthcare ecosystem, with the goal of delivering an integrated patient experience for more Filipinos,” Mr. Borromeo was quoted as saying.

In the stock market disclosure, Ayala Corp. said the value of the transaction “is not material as it is less than 10%” of its total equity.

According to the disclosure, Qualimed has hospitals in Nuvali, Bulacan, Iloilo City, and Batangas. It also operates an ambulatory surgical center in UP-Philippine General Hospital, and has clinics in Makati, Quezon City, and Cebu IT Park.

On Tuesday, Ayala Corp. shares at the stock exchange rose 0.36% or P3 to close at P838 per piece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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