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OUE Lippo Healthcare to place out shares to Itochu for S$78.8m

Itochu will buy the shares at an issue price of 14 S'pore cents apiece, giving it a 25.3% stake in OUELH

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OUE Lippo Healthcare's Wuxi Hospital in China, an integrated 800-bed facility with retail facilities and service apartments.

Singapore

OUE Lippo Healthcare (OUELH) is raising S$78.75 million via a private placement to trading company Itochu Corp, which it says will strengthen its financial position and enable it to execute its business plans.

Through its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary Browny Healthcare, Itochu will acquire the shares at an issue price of 14 Singapore cents apiece, giving it a 25.3 per cent stake in OUELH on a fully diluted basis.

The issue price represents a premium of 15.7 per cent to the volume weighted average price of 12.1 cents for trades done on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) on Jan 9. Trading of the counter was halted early Wednesday morning, pending the announcement.

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The placement is contingent upon OUELH obtaining the green light from SGX. The new shares are expected to be listed on the Catalist-board on or before Feb 10.

The placement comes under a general share issue mandate obtained from shareholders at the company's annual general meeting on July 14, 2017.

Stephen Riady, executive chairman of OUE and board director of OUELH, said: "With its extensive network in Asia, Itochu will be a key partner for OUE Lippo Healthcare as it embarks on its growth path to become a leading healthcare company in Asia."

OUELH is a subsidiary company of OUE, which is part of the Lippo Group.

This comes as Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed Itochu, which has a market capital of over US$30 billion, is seeking to diversify into Asia's expanding healthcare market. In recent years, it has been building a new business portfolio in the healthcare sector, including hospital management and medical devices & equipment.

Masahiro Okafuji, president and chief executive of Itochu, added: "We see the tremendous potential of the Asian healthcare market. Taking a stake in OUE Lippo Healthcare allows Itochu to partner with the Lippo Group to gain a strategic foothold in this growing sector."

The net proceeds from the placement, after expenses of S$1.3 million, should total S$77.45 million.

OUELH (formerly known as International Healthway Corporation) said that 40 to 50 per cent of the proceeds will go towards general working capital purposes. The balance is earmarked for developing its healthcare business and healthcare-related projects.