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Novena Global Lifecare to raise US$150m in Taiwan listing

SINGAPORE-BASED Novena Global Lifecare Group (Novena) plans to list on the Taiwan Stock Exchange as part of its plan to expand regionally, it said on Monday.

It wants to raise US$150 million in an initial public offering (IPO), and use the funds to grow organically and through acquisitions.

This makes Novena the fourth Singapore-based healthcare-related firm this year with intentions to take its IPO outside the island republic.

The other three are Aslan Pharmaceuticals, a Singapore-based biotechnology company focused on the development of immunotherapies for Asia prevalent tumour types; Tessa Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialisation of cancer immunotherapies; and CellResearch Corporation, a biotechnology firm specialising in stem cell research aimed at wound treatments.

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Novena is the largest medical aesthetic chain in Singapore, with 15 clinics and a database of over 150,000 patients. Founded six years ago by former investment bankers Nelson and Terence Loh, it is the only Singapore medical aesthetic chain with its own research and development (R&D) and manufacturing arm based in South Korea.

In Taiwan, the group has acquired a majority stake in Hexin, an established provider of health screening services which has outsourced the management of these services in their three hospitals to Novena.

Novena also plans to further develop predictive care through DNA testing with its partnership with another Taiwanese company, Health GeneTech. It will also work with leading universities and regional labs in Taiwan, South Korea, India and Hong Kong to develop an extensive database on Asian genetics for predictive developmental and healthcare management.

In addition, the group is in talks with a Taiwanese company to develop a maternity care centre as it sees a growing market for post-natal care and anti-ageing treatments in Singapore.

Nelson Loh, executive chairman and co-founder of Novena, said: "We believe we have a very scalable business model to support our growth plans. Going by trends in the more developed markets of Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea, we see huge potential in China and some of the emerging economies for healthcare services that help people to stay good on the inside and look great on the outside."