Sime Darby, Ramsay team up in healthcare venture

KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:03am EDT

KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 (Reuters) - Malaysia's Sime Darby Bhd said on Tuesday it will partner Ramsay Health Care Ltd , Australia's largest private hospital operator, that will combine Ramsay's Indonesian operations with its healthcare and education businesses.

The venture, named Ramsay Sime Darby Healthcare Sdn Bhd, is part of Sime Darby's strategy to capture growing opportunities in Asian healthcare, it said in a statement to the stock exchange.

Ramsay's Indonesian business saw double-digit revenue growth of 11 percent in the six months ended Dec. 31, while Australia and Europe grew between 1.5 and 7 percent. Ramsay operates 116 hospitals across Australia, the United Kingdom, France and Indonesia.

Sime Darby's healthcare segment, which contributes less than 1 percent to the group, saw its income decline by more than a third during the same period due to cost incurred from new hospital openings.

CIMB Group Holdings Bhd is the adviser for the exercise. (Reporting By Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah and Yantoultra Ngui; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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