METRO PACIFIC Hospital Holdings, Inc. (MPHHI) has extended its offer to buy P2.261 billion worth of shares in Medical Doctors, Inc. (MDI), in a bid to give shareholders time to think the deal through.

In a notice published in a newspaper Thursday, MPHHI said it has extended the tender offer to Aug. 9 from the original July 26 deadline. It has secured approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission for the extension.

“The offer period is extended to give MDI shareholders more time to consider the offer and clarify some terms, and prepare the necessary documentary requirements,” MPHHI said in the notice.

The company said a total of 17,636 shares have been tendered as of July 24, way below its target of acquiring up to 563,000 outstanding common shares in the operator of Makati Medical Center.

The shares represent about 16.6% of the total outstanding shares of MDI, which if fully tendered will bring MPHHI’s ownership in the hospital to no more than 49.9%. MPHHI currently holds a 33.3% stake in the company.

With the extension of the deadline, MPHHI will also push back the settlement date to within 10 business days after the termination of the tender offer, or depending on when it gets approval from the Philippine Competition Commission.

MPHHI will pay 75% of the total purchase price for the MDI shares on the settlement date, while the balance will be paid within five calendar days from the delivery to the offeror of the original and valid certificates authorizing registration from the relevant revenue district office of the Bureau of Internal Revenue authorizing the transfer of shares.

MPHHI is the hospital unit of conglomerate Metro Pacific Holdings, Inc., which also has core interests in power, water, infrastructure, and logistics.

The company last May shelved its plan to conduct an initial public offering, contrary to its earlier plans to raise about P15 billion to finance its expansion.

MPIC then said it will divest some of its shareholdings in MPHHI, which is seen to be valued at about $2 billion.

Shares in MPIC went up by a centavo or 0.21% to close at P4.80 each at the stock exchange on Thursday.

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