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Business deals

Private equity company weighs selling stake in Hanoi hospital

Navis Capital looks for buyers as exit process expected to start by 2020

Public and private hospitals in Vietnam are expected to exceed 1,890 by 2022.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE/KUALA LUMPUR/HANOI -- Southeast Asia-focused private equity company Navis Capital Partners is looking to exit its investment in Vietnam's Hanoi French Hospital, people familiar with the development told DealStreetAsia.

Internal preparations for the exit have begun and Navis Capital has started sending out feelers to potential buyers. The formal process, however, is expected to be launched in early 2020.

Navis Capital had bought a stake in HFH in June 2016 for an undisclosed sum from Australian company Indochina Medical Co. While it never disclosed the amount of the stake in the Vietnamese company, Navis Capital typically buys a controlling stake in its portfolio companies.

When contacted, a Navis Capital spokesperson declined to comment for this story. Meanwhile, an email sent to HFH did not elicit a response.

Established in 1996, HFH is a private hospital that employs over 50 full-time doctors, per its website. It has around 75 beds and plans to increase the number to 150 beds by 2021, one of the sources close to the hospital said. "The capacity extension will support HFH's EBITDA growth in next two years," the person added.

The valuation of the hospital is expected to be based on the average EV/EBITDA of its businesses across Southeast Asian countries, which stands at mid-20x of revenue, the source added. Currently, HFH's annual revenue is pegged at around $30 million.

Between 2012 and 2017, the hospital market in Vietnam recorded a growth of 7.8% CAGR, according to a report by Ken Research published in March 2018. The growth was driven by health care investments by the government and private players as well as liberalization of foreign investment into the country.

Major private hospital operators in the country include Vietnam France General Hospital, Hoan My Private General Hospital, Phu Tho Private General Hospital, Trien An Private General Hospital and Hong Ngoc Private General Hospital.

The total number of public and private hospitals in Vietnam is expected to exceed 1,890 by 2022.

Founded in 1998, Navis Capital manages several private and public equity funds for a total of $5 billion. Investors include commercial and investment banks, pension funds, insurance companies, corporations, foundations and also high net worth individuals and family offices from markets such as the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Earlier this year, Navis made headlines for reportedly initiating the sale process of its Asian business portfolio Evolution Wellness. Navis is understood to be looking at listing the wellness company on the Thailand Stock Exchange, SET, next year. Navis and its partner Oaktree Capital are rumored to be seeking a $1-billion valuation for the entity.

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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