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Jiamei to use backdoor route to public listing

By Wang Wen | China Daily | Updated: 2015-02-13 07:44

Company to acquire main board firm while it pursues plans to transform its core business WANG WEN

Jiamei Medical Group, the largest privately owned chain of dental clinics in China, will use the backdoor listing route to go public this year, a top company official said on Thursday.

Backdoor listing is a strategy of going public used by a company that fails to meet the criteria for listing on a stock exchange. To get onto the exchange, the company desiring to go public acquires an already listed company.

"We will acquire a controlling interest in a company that is already listed on the main board," said Liu Jia, chairman and chief executive officer of Jiamei Medical Group, adding that the company would be the first privately owned general medical service provider that would be listed.

Meanwhile, the group will also transform its main business from dental clinics to general hospitals, Liu said.

Jiamei Medical, which has been in operation for more than 22 years, already has about 100 dental clinics all over the country and the group intends to cap it at that level.

Liu said his group aims to integrate 100 private hospitals to form an allied company, in which Jiamei Medical will hold a 51 percent stake.

"We expect to complete this by the next year. We have already integrated 26 other private hospitals. The funds raised from the stock market will be mainly used for the general hospital plan," he said.

To attract other private hospitals to the allied company, Jiamei Medical plans to provide about 20 value-added services to its partners, such as training of doctors, corporate clients and long-distance medical services, he said.

Jiamei Medical's goal is to achieve a net profit of about $200 million by 2016, the chairman said.

The private medical company's ambition is not unachievable, as the government is focusing more on healthcare reforms, said industry experts.

"The policy environment is becoming favorable and the golden period to invest in the private medical service industry is on the cards," said a research report published by Guotai Junan Securities.

Last year, the government unveiled a policy document that seeks to use social capital, or economic benefits derived from the preferential treatment and cooperation between individuals and groups, for restructuring of public hospitals. In addition, the National Health and Family Planning Commission has also identified several areas of development for non-public hospitals in its five-year medical service system plan.

According to the plan, there will be at least six hospital beds for every 1,000 residents in the country by 2020.

"We will see some large medical service groups by then and private players will lead the industry development in the next three to five years," said the Guotai Junan Securities report.

The medical services industry will get more benefit from the reforms this year than last year, said Fu Tao, an analyst of the medical industry with Tebon Securities. Encouraged by the government's healthcare reform, Liu Jia and Jiamei Medical have charted more innovation plans.

Jiamei Medical will launch the test version of its smart medical platform on March 1, which is just like Taobao for medical services.

Patients can consult and make appointments with doctors on the Internet platform, Liu said, while doctors can use it for meeting patients in hospitals or clinics.

The online platform is based on the permission given by the government to doctors for multi-location practice. The government has shared its doctor information database with Jiamei Medical, said Liu.

Five government departments jointly issued a document that has come out with regulations governing multi - location practices in January, which seeks to lower the threshold for doctors to practice in multiple locations.

Most of the good doctors and hospitals are located in big cities, thereby making it difficult for residents in other regions to get their services, Liu said, adding that the multi-location practice can use the resources effectively.

"Jiamei Medical's online platform will develop further, as it moves more resources online," Liu said.

The group is also working on establishing 10 medical schools in China to ease the burden of getting effective medical talent.

"There will be a severe shortage of doctors in China in the next five years," Liu said, adding that the 10 schools will be opened in the next three years.

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