Healthcare Holdings Inc., the healthcare subsidiary of listed conglomerate Ayala Corp. (AC), is set to invest $100 million to $200 million (about P5 billion to P10 billion) in its clinics and pharmacies over the next few years as part of its expansion strategy.
“As a group, at least for our clinics and for our pharmacies, we’re looking at anywhere between $100 million to $200 million budget over the next few years, not necessarily this year,” Paolo Maximo F. Borromeo, AC head of corporate strategy and development, said last week.
Borromeo said AC is focusing on five sectors in the coming years which are healthcare, power, infrastructure, industrial, and education.
“I think it’s the recognition that the healthcare sector can benefit from private capital, that there are still more opportunities to improve efficiencies in the system, and improve access to basic healthcare for many of our fellow Filipinos,” he said.
AC Healthcare operates a pharmacy business through Generika drugstores and clinics under the Qualimed and FamilyDoc brands.
Borromeo said the group is planning to open “close to 200 stores this year” for Generika, both franchise and company-owned stores. He said one store can cost P500,000 to P1 million to build, therefore the company will be shelling out P100 million to P200 million for drugstore openings this year.
Generika currently has 670 stores after opening some 120 outlets in 2016, of which 90 percent are franchised.
“The aspiration is to get to 1,000 stores in three to five years’ time. So if we can get 200 now, then we can do it over the next few years. But the idea is really to get closer to 1,000 stores,” Borromeo said.
“The stores we’re rolling out are a mix of franchise and company- owned,” he added.
AC also opened two community clinics—one in Iloilo and one in Bulacan.
It will also open another two to three hospitals in 2018 to 2019, and the group is also expanding its mall-based clinics through Qualimed and its community-based clinics under FamilyDoc, he said.
Borromeo did not disclose the expansion plan for Qualimed, but said they plan to open 18 to 20 FamilyDoc clinics in Ayala Land communities this year, on top of the six FamilyDoc clinics currently.
“Our plan this year (for FamilyDoc) is to have about maybe 18 to 20 new clinics. These are primary care clinics that we scatter in communities, standalone, and located near residential communities. We have six right now, mostly in Las Piñas and Cavite. Our plan is to start branching out to Taguig, Pasig, Quezon City,” Borromeo added.
AC holds the Ayala family’s businesses in water (Manila Water Company Inc.), telecoms (Globe Telecom Inc.), property (Ayala Land Inc.), semiconductors (Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc.), banking (Bank of the Philippine Islands), infrastructure (AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp.), power (AC Energy Holdings Inc.), automotive (Ayala Automotive), healthcare (AC Healthcare Holdings Inc.), and education (LiveIt Investments Ltd.), among others.