International Financial Corp (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is planning to take part in the planned $1.5 billion listing of Malaysia's Integrated Healthcare Holdings (IHH) in a move to help validate IHH's emerging markets strategy, according to IFC's official website.
The largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries said the move would help the healthcare firm with its pan-Asia expansion strategy.
"Project cost and the amount and nature of IFC's proposed investment cannot be disclosed at this time due to confidentiality and regulatory requirements," IFC announced on its website, adding that the estimated date for board considerations was June 12.
IHH is the healthcare arm of Malaysia's state investor, Khazanah. Its assets include Turkish hospital group Acibadem AS , Singapore's Parkway Holdings, India's Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd and Malaysia-based Pantai Hospitals and International Medical University.
The listing of IHH in Singapore and Malaysia was expected to be the fourth-biggest initial public offering in the city state's history and Malaysia's second-largest this year after the planned listing of Malaysian plantation group Felda Global Venture Holdings.
Southeast Asia has seen a burst of IPOs since the start of the year, despite the protracted euro zone debt crisis and the debacle over Facebook's recent market debut.
IHH, which is expected to debut on the Malaysian and Singaporean bourses by the end of July, has started to invite approved "Bumiputra" investors to submit expressions of interest in subscribing for its shares, according to the website of Malaysia's Ministry of International Trade and Industry earlier.
Bumiputra, meaning "sons of the soil" in Malay, refers to majority ethnic Malays and other indigenous people in the country who benefit from a decades-old affirmative action policy that favours them in housing, education and business.
Premarketing is currently being held for a second tranche that will be open to institutional and other investors.
The IPO will be one of the first after elections in Malaysia that are widely expected to be held in June or July. Analysts and investment bankers have said Malaysia's IPO pipeline has slowed ahead of the poll because of concerns of market volatility.
IFC officials were not immediately available for comment. Japan's Mitsui & Co Ltd <8031.T> owns a 26.6 percent stake in IHH, Dubai-based Abraaj Capital holds 7.1 percent and Acibadem chief Mehmet Ali Aydinlar 4.2 percent. Khazanah owns the remaining 62.1 percent.
Bank of America-Merrill Lynch , Deutsche Bank AG and CIMB are joint global coordinators and book runners for the deal. Goldman Sachs , DBS and Credit Suisse are joint bookrunners, a source told Reuters in December.