• ALI gears up for P5-billion hospital venture


    In a bid to become one of the major players in the healthcare industry, property giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) is gearing up for a P5-billion hospital venture with the Mercado Group over the next five years.

    On Wednesday, the listed real estate firm, together with the Mercado General Hospital Inc. (MGHI), opened the first of its line of medical facilities under the new brand QualiMed.

    “Our QualiMed joint venture supports our strategy of completing the offerings in our integrated mixed-use developments,” Antonino Aquino, ALI president and chief executive officer, said in a press briefing held in Quezon City.

    For its initial offering, QualiMed formally opened the satellite clinic at the ground floor of the Trinoma Mall in Quezon City, which will offer line of medical services including cardiac, dental, pulmonary and vaccination services, as well as diagnostic imaging and laboratory services.

    For the phase one of its hospital venture, ALI and (MGHI) is targeting to build as much as four full-service hospitals in the next two years, and another five in the succeeding five years under phase two.

    The four hospitals will be established in Iloilo, Bacolod, Laguna and Bulacan, while the next five will be in Cavite, Cebu, Pampanga, Davao, Balintawak and Taguig City.

    For the satellite clinics, the immediate plan is to establish four more branches in line with the first one launched.

    An ALI official indicated that for all the developments that were mentioned, the combined investment cost could be as much as P5 billion.

    David San Pedro, head of ALI corporate planning and international business development, specified that for each hospital, the group is looking to spend about P500 million, while one satellite clinic would cost between P20 million and P30 million.

    Earlier last year, ALI announced that it entered into an agreement to acquire Whiteknight Holdings Inc., a company wholly owned by the Mercado family and a 33-percent equity stockholder of MGHI.

    MGHI has almost six decades of experience in healthcare services. It pioneered the advanced multi-specialty, ambulatory surgical center in the University of Philippines Manila complex, and continues to operate the Daniel O. Mercado Medical Center in Batangas.

    “It has always been our vision as medical practitioners to provide quality medical care to as many Filipinos as we can possibly reach. We are in the middle of the journey and partnering with Ayala Land helped us take a big leap toward fulfilling this dream,” Edwin Mercado, president of MGHI, also said during the press briefing.

    Overall, ALI and the Mercado Group have set a 1,000-bed target over the next five years for their joint venture.


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