Principal Capital to expand portfolio

Principal Capital to expand portfolio

Principal Capital Plc, an operator of a private hospital network, plans to divest three commercial properties worth 6 billion baht to add six new hospitals to its portfolio and 100 chain clinics nationwide as well as develop five "self-reliance" elderly care facilities in Greater Bangkok by 2023.

Managing director Satit Viddayakorn said the company wanted to sell the commercial properties to focus on the healthcare business but will wait until the end of the pandemic.

"Their combined value of 6 billion baht was estimated before the pandemic," he said yesterday. "We will not sell them this year as the prices may be unattractive during the impact on the tourism sector."

The properties include two serviced apartments -- 187-room Marriott Sathorn and 262-room Somerset Ekamai -- and one office building, 30-storey Bangkok Business Center on Ekamai Road with a total lettable area of 42,200 square metres.

He said 5 billion baht from the sales will be spent during 2021-23 to add six new hospitals with an aim to have a total of 20 hospitals nationwide and two new businesses including a chain clinic and elderly care facility.

It will invest one billion baht this year. Some 900 million baht will allocated for three new hospitals -- one in the Northeast and two in the South.

Some 30 million baht will be allocated for 20 chain clinics. The rest will be spent to develop an elderly care facility with 20 beds located near Princ Suvarnabhumi Hospital on Bang Na-Trat Road in Bang Phli, Samut Prakan.

Tanee Maneenut, assistant managing director for business development, said the company's elderly care business will be different from the existing ones in Thailand.

"Our elderly care business is based on a self-reliance concept in which elderly people can resume their healthy living, with the capability to do daily activities together with their families," he said.

Principal NKG Co, a joint venture with Nihon Keiei (Thailand) Co of NK Group, an elderly care operator in Japan, will invest in the elderly care business.

"I have one elderly person," said Mr Satit, referring to his father, Dr Pongsak, who is now 87.

"Elderly people should be able to take care of themselves, using their hands and activating their brains to avoid or minimise dementia."

By 2023, the company aims to have five elderly care centres in Greater Bangkok due to high demand in the city before expanding them upcountry, with an aim to have a total of 100 facilities nationwide.

Mr Satit added the company plans to have a private placement worth around 1 billion baht with a new business partner who will form a joint venture in hospital expansion.

Currently, it owns and operates 11 hospitals with a total of 997 beds in 10 provinces nationwide.

It plans to open three new ones, with 59 beds each, in provinces including Lamphun and Sisaket between March and April this year.

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