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Parkway should give nod to Khazanah bid, say RiskMetrics

SINGAPORE: RiskMetrics, an independent advisory firm, on Monday, June 21, recommended that Parkway investors approve a proposal allowing a partial takeover bid by Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah.

The firm said Khazanah's offer price of SGD3.78 (RM8.76) a share exceeded Parkway's share price prior to the offer, and shareholders would still be free to decide whether or not to accept Khazanah's offer after the vote.

"This resolution, if approved, does not mean that Khazanah's partial takeover offer will be successful. This resolution, if passed, will allow the bid to be made," RiskMetrics said in a report.

Shareholders of Singapore-listed Parkway, Asia's largest hospital operator by market capitalisation, have until July 8 to approve a proposal to let Khazanah raise its stake in Parkway to 51.5% from around 24%.

July 8 is also the deadline for shareholders to accept Khazanah's partial offer for Parkway shares, although the Malaysian state investor may opt to extend the offer period amid speculation Indian healthcare firm Fortis is lining up a counter offer.

While Khazanah only needs acceptance from 27% of Parkway shareholders to gain control of the Singapore firm, it needs the go-ahead to make its partial offer from 50% of shareholders other than the Malaysian state investor.

Fortis, which owns just over 25% of Parkway, has received assurance from Indian banks including State Bank of India of up to $2 billion in loans, the Economic Times newspaper reported on Monday.

Singapore's securities regulator last week gave Fortis until July 30 to state whether it intends to make a full offer for Parkway.

The Securities Industry Council also said Khazanah had the option to extend the closing date for its partial offer from July 8 to 10 days after July 30 in order to give shareholders a chance to assess their options. -- Reuters
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