Now part of Chinese health group Luye Medical, Healthe Care is looking to expand its operations into Asia.
Australia’s third largest private hospital operator achieved its goal of owning 30 hospitals three years early after buying a portfolio of hospitals and day surgeries from Pulse Health in a $155 million deal earlier this year.
In April last year Luye Medical, owned by Chinese billionaire Liu Dian Bo, finalised its $938 million acquisition of Healthe from private equity firm Archer Capital after approval from FIRB.
Since then, Healthe has absorbed the Pulse portfolio and then three hospitals bought from Evolution Healthcare in March.
It is looking forward to adding another private hospital through a venture with Generation Healthcare REIT at Epping in Melbourne’s north. The real estate of all but one of those hospitals is held by third-party trusts, allowing Healthe to focus its investment on operations.
The next horizon for Healthe is Asia, particularly south-east Asia, with its parent Luye already active in China, Korea and Singapore.
“They are very supportive of our growth,” chief executive Steve Atkins told The Australian Financial Review.
“We had several bidders looking at Healthe Care but their [Luye’s] support of our growth plans was right on the money.
“We really now see ourselves as a pan-Asian player as opposed to an Australian-New Zealand hospital group.”
Healthe has a team of executives dedicated to expanding operations into Asia and is in the market now looking at opportunities in south-east Asia.
Whether whatever opportunities secured are held under the Healthe or Luye brands will in part depend on the individual market.
“We see value in the Healthe Care brand in those Asian markets,” Mr Atkins said.
Closer to home, the rate of activity in the Australian market may see less acquisition opportunities arise, although the Pulse purchase gives Healthe a foothold in the New Zealand market.
As well, there is plenty of uplift potential in Healthe’s community care business which will deliver 200,000 home visits this year.
“While we’ve been so busy growing our hospital portfolio in Australia and New Zealand, that’s an area we probably haven’t explored well enough,” Mr Atkins said.
“The community care space is an opportunity where we’ll look to grow more rapidly than we have been.”