KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 24): Sime Darby Bhd on Thursday (Aug 24) said several potential buyers have shown interest in acquiring its 50:50 joint venture (JV) Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care Sdn Bhd.
“I think there has been a significant level of interest from quite a number of players,” said Sime Darby group executive director and chief executive officer Datuk Jeffri Salim Davidson, adding that talks are still ongoing.
Jeffri said the divestment is expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year.
“Hopefully, by the last quarter of this year or in the first quarter of next year,” he said at a media briefing in conjunction with the group's financial results for the fourth quarter of 2023.
Sime Darby group chief financial officer Mustamir Mohamad said the proceeds from the divestment would be utilised to trim UMW Holdings Bhd's debts totalling RM2.7 billion. The group had on Thursday proposed to acquire a 61.18% stake in UMW from Permodalan Nasional Bhd for RM3.57 billion.
On June 28, Sime Darby said it had reached a decision with its Australian partner Ramsay Health Care Ltd to explore the possibility of a sale of Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care. Reuters has reported that the divestment deal could value the business at some RM6 billion.
Previously, in September 2022, IHH Healthcare Bhd announced that its discussion with Sime Darby and Ramsay Health Care to acquire Sime Darby Health Care had concluded without a binding agreement.
Sime Darby's share price closed one sen higher at RM2.11 on Thursday, with a market capitalisation of RM14.38 billion.