METRO PACIFIC Hospital Holdings, Inc. (MPHHI) is embarking on an P83.3-billion maiden share sale to expand its hospital network and as part of parent Metro Pacific Investments Corp.’s (MPIC) efforts to sell down assets.

In a registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday, the company said it intends to offer up to 417.09 million common shares, consisting of up to 35.82 million new common shares as part of the primary offer, priced at a maximum of P182 each.

The remaining 381.27 million existing common shares will be sold by selling shareholder, MPIC. This will include up to 40.771 million shares for the over-allotment option.

The final offer price will be announced by Nov. 14, depending on when the firm secures the green light from the SEC and the Philippine Stock Exchange.

This will be followed by the offer period from Nov. 18 to 22. Its shares are expected to be listed on Dec. 2 under the ticker HOSP.

MPHHI expects P5.95 billion in net proceeds from the primary offer, about 67% of which will be spent on additional hospitals, cancer centers, clinics and new health care businesses. Around 24% will go to additional investments in its existing hospitals, while the remaining eight percent will be used for general corporate purposes.

The company also expects up to P75.1 billion in net proceeds from the secondary offer, assuming the over-allotment option is fully exercised. MPHHI will not get anything from the sale of MPIC’s shares.

MPIC disclosed last May plans to unload a portion of its 85.6% stake in the hospital business to reduce debt, as its aggressive expansion over the years have caused their liabilities to grow substantially.

The infrastructure conglomerate has P215 billion in interest-bearing debt that will mature towards 2035. Of this amount, P11.61 billion will mature that year.

Foreign firms have reportedly expressed interest to buy a stake in MPHHI as well, such as buyout firms KKR, Blackstone and CVC, according to a Reuters report.

MPHHI hired UBS AG Singapore Branch to be sole global coordinator for the transaction. It will join Merrill Lynch (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., CLSA Limited, and J.P. Morgan Securities plc as joint international bookrunners.

First Metro Investment Corp. has been appointed lead domestic coordinator. The company will work with BDO Capital & Investment Corp and BPI Capital Corp as joint domestic lead underwriters.

MPHHI operates 14 hospitals with more than 3,200 beds across the country, including Makati Medical Center and Cardinal Santos Medical Center.

It joins the roster of firms that plans to go public this year. On Tuesday, electronics manufacturer Cal-Comp Technology (Philippines), Inc also filed for a P10.68-billion IPO. Axelum Resources Corp. (P7.695 billion) and AllHome Corp (P20.7 billion) have also been cleared for their maiden share offerings this October.

MPIC is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being PLDT, Inc. and Philex Mining Corp. Hastings Holdings, Inc. — a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. — maintains interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arra B. Francia