Praram 9 Hospital IPO priced at top end of range

(File photo supplied by Praram 9 Hospital)

Praram 9 Hospital Plc, linked to former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, is set to raise 2.2 billion baht after pricing its initial public offering of shares at the top end of target range, its financial adviser Phatra Securities said on Friday.

The IPO was priced at the top end of the range of 10.60 to 11.60 baht, giving it a trailing price-to-earnings ratio of 34 times against peer average of 23 times. The shares will start trading on the Stock Exchange of Thailand on Oct 30.

Proceeds from the IPO will be used for facility upgrades and for developing a new wing, the company said in a filing.

The 26-year-old hospital recently announced plans for a new 16-storey building at a cost of 2 billion baht. When it opens in the fourth quarter of next year, inpatient capacity will increase to 313 beds from 166.

The hospital counts Thaksin’s former wife, Potjaman Damapong, and their three children as major shareholders, together holding a nearly 40%┬ástake in the hospital after the share float, filings showed.

The IPO comes ahead of general elections slated for next year and appears “insulated” from politics, says a fund manager who declined to be named.

On Wednesday, courts granted bail to Thaksin’s son and a shareholder of Praram 9 Hospital, Panthongtae Shinawatra, after indicting him for money laundering and ordered him not to leave the country without permission.

“Investor focus may be tilted more in favour of the business upside and future growth than on possible political concerns attached to prominent shareholders,” Jay Harriman, senior director at BowerGroupAsia said.

Shareholders such as billionaire Santi Bhirombahkdi, the owner of Boon Rawd Brewery, makers of Singha Beer, also mitigated political risk, analysts say.

Other Shinawatra-owned companies include the real estate developer SC Asset where Thaksin’s two daughters and ex-wife together hold stakes of over 60%.

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