Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sri Lanka's Asiri Hospitals ups stake in Surgical

Asiri Hospitals, the largest private hospital chain in Sri Lanka, upped its stake in subsidiary Asiri Surgical by acquiring 10 percent stake from Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC).

State owned Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation which held 22 percent stake in the hospital divested the 10 percent stake to Asiri Hospitals chain at 9.50 rupees per share. The total value of the deal was 500 million rupees.

This boost the parent company's holding in the hospital to 40 percent.

"We soon make a mandatory offer to shareholders as now our holding of Asiri Surgical is over 40 percent," Ashoka Pathirage, managing director of Asiri Hospitals told LBR in a telephone interview.

Asiri Hospital is a unit of the Softlogic group, an electronics retailer and distributor which holds the sole distributorship for Nokia phones and Dell computers in Sri Lanka.

In 2006 Softlogic diversified in to healthcare by acquiring Asiri Hospitals which now has three hospitals in Colombo and one in the Southern town of Matara.

The latest 14 level 270 room hospital, ‘The Central’ on Norris Canal road, built at a cost of 4.5 billion rupees began operations in June.

The group is fighting nail and tooth with Lanka Hospitals and Ceylon Hospitals to establish itself as the prime healthcare service provider in the Island.

Pathirage, an entrepreneur who built up his business on the back of the mobile phone sector, said the latest purchase was part of a strategy to consolidate his hospital business.

Asiri Hospitals wants to bring future expansion plans under one roof under a common name brand which awaiting share holder approval.

"We want to bring our hospitals properties under one roof which is why we have applied for a name change for Asiri Hospitals to Asiri Hospitals Holdings," Pathirage said

"It's awaiting the nod from shareholders."

Sri Lanka's largest healthcare provider is the National Healthcare Services, run by the state.

Asiri Hospital shares rose 10 cents or 1.18 percent to 8.60 rupees after the sale.

source - www.lbr.lk

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