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 7 Jan 2009

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Malaysian firm withdraws planned purchase of hospital

Malaysian conglomerate Sime Darby will not pursue its plan to acquire a majority stake in IJN Holdings Sdn Bhd, the operator of the country's top heart hospital, Reuters quoted the company as saying Tuesday.

The Malaysian government said last month it will delay making a decision to sell the IJN stake, following strong public objections. The Ministry of Finance, which owns 99.99 percent of IJN, had previously given approval-in-principle to Sime  but faced public criticisms that the poor people will no longer be able to afford to seek treatment there.

"The company arrived at this decision after taking into consideration the public sentiment and feedback received since the government announced that it had deferred its decision to allow
Sime Darby to begin negotiations with the Ministry of Finance on taking a 51 percent stake in IJN," it said.

"The company, nevertheless, will continue to look for opportunities for expansion in the healthcare sector," Sime said in a filing to the stock exchange.




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