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Business deals

Chinese eye hospital to buy 35% stake in Singapore-listed peer

Aier reaches $48m share-purchase deal with holders of ISEC Healthcare

ISEC Healthcare provides specialist medical eye care services with ambulatory surgical centers in Malaysia and Singapore.   © Reuters

CEBU, Philippines -- Aier Eye International (Singapore), a direct wholly owned subsidiary of Aier Eye Hospital Group, China's leading hospital network for eye care, has offered to acquire 35% of Singapore-listed ISEC Healthcare for 67.1 million Singapore dollars ($48.3 million).

In a disclosure to the Singapore Exchange, ISEC said its shareholders have entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with CEL Impetus Corporate Finance, for and on behalf of Aier Eye, for the acquisition of 186 million shares representing 35% of the total issued shares held by the selling shareholders.

The selling shareholders are Dr. Lee Hung Ming, Dr. Wong Jun Shyan, Dr. Choong Yee Fong, Dr. Michael Law Sie Haur, Dr. Fang Seng Kheong, Dr. Lim Kian Seng and Dr. Yeo Kim Chuan. All of them are employees of ISEC Healthcare and its subsidiaries.

The deal, if completed, is likely to lead to a mandatory general offer for the remaining shares at the same price of SG$0.36 per share.

ISEC Healthcare provides specialist medical eye care services with ambulatory surgical centers in Malaysia and Singapore. It has a team of 25 doctors who are specialized in the fields of cataract and refractive surgery, vitreoretinal diseases, corneal and external eye diseases, glaucoma, uveitis, oculoplastics, facial cosmetics and aesthetics surgery, adult strabismus, and pediatric ophthalmology.

Aier is incorporated in China and listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. It operates a global chain of eye care medical service institutions, whose main business is providing ophthalmic medical and optometry services.

Aier Eye International cited ISEC Healthcare's low historical trading liquidity as a reason for the offer. The offer price is a 5.88% premium over the closing price of SG$0.34 on June 28, the last trading day before a trading halt was called.

The buyer said it intends for ISEC Healthcare to continue with its existing activities and that it has no current intention of making material changes to the firm's existing business, redeploying its fixed assets or discontinuing the employment of group workers.

DealstreetAsia is a financial news site based in Singapore focused on corporate investment activity in Southeast Asia and India. Nikkei recently announced the acquisition of a majority stake in the company.

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