PETALING JAYA: Sime Darby Bhd
is looking to acquire hospitals in the region as part of plans to grow its healthcare business this year.
Group CEO Datuk Jeffri Salim Davidson told a press conference on Thursday that growing the healthcare business was among the group’s priorities for FY19.
The group currently has six hospitals - three in Malaysia and three in Indonesia via a joint venture partnership.
“We are looking at targets outside Malaysia, within the region, for potential acquisitions of hospitals.
“Our preferred strategy is to buy, rather than to build, as it takes a longer time for a greenfield hospital to be profitable,” he said.
He said they were looking at several countries with “large populations”.
“Indonesia is one of the markets we are keen in. We already have three hospitals in Indonesia so it makes a lot of sense for us,” he said.
WHile the group’s healthcare division is small, Jeffri noted that there were good opportunities for growth.
He added that the group aimed to double the 1,500 hospital beds it has over the next five years.
“We are looking at inorganic growth through acquisitions at the right price, and organic growth as well,” he said.