Singapore billionaire offers $396 mln for Thomson Medical

SINGAPORE, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim on Friday offered to buy Thomson Medical Centre THOM.SI for S$513 million ($396 million), hoping to tap into Asia's growing healthcare demand.

Lim made the offer after his investment firm agreed to buy a 39.34 percent stake in the company from Thomson’s largest shareholder and founder Dr Cheng Wei Chen and his family, a statement said.

Lim’s investment firm struck the deal at S$1.75 a share with the healthcare firm’s key shareholder, a price that will also be extended to the company’s remaining shareholders. The offer represents a 62 percent premium over Thomson’s last traded price.

The offer for Thomson Medical comes three months after Malaysian state investor Khazanah bought Parkway Holdings PARM.SI -- Asia's biggest listed hospital operator -- in a $2.6 billion deal.

Thomson Medical is a healthcare service provider in Singapore for obstetrics, gynaecology and paediatric services.

Lim recently gained fame when he made a 320 million pound ($509.5 million) offer to buy Liverpool Football Club. He later withdrew the offer following a court ruling that gave Liverpool board the right to proceed with a 300 million pound sale of the club to New England Sports Ventures, who also own the Boston Red Sox baseball team. [ID:nLDE69D1RB]

Lim, ranked by Forbes magazine as Singapore's eighth-richest man, made his fortune as a stock broker and became a private investor in 1996. His key holdings include stakes in Wilmar International WLIL.SI, the world's largest palm oil firm, and fashion retailer FJ Benjamin FJBN.SI. ($1=1.296 Singapore Dollar) ($1=.6281 Pound) (Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)