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Mitsui aims to accelerate business in healthcare and nutrition segments

Mitsui aims to accelerate business in healthcare and nutrition segments

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Japanese trading company Mitsui & Co. is seen in Tokyo, Japan, January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

TOKYO: Mitsui & Co plans to accelerate its expansion into healthcare and nutrition using IHH Healthcare Bhd, the Japanese trading house's CEO said on Friday, without addressing a media report that it plans to take the Malayasian health group private.

"What we are targeting in healthcare and nutrition areas in the long term is quite large," Mitsui CEO Kenichi Hori said during an analyst call on Friday, adding that Mitsui will use IHH and other assets to achieve that aim.

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that Mitsui, which owns a 32.9 per cent stake in IHH Healthcare worth around US$12 billion, plans to take IHH private.

Hori did not refer to the Bloomberg report on Friday's analyst call, which media were permitted to listen to but not allowed to ask questions. A Mitsui spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Mitsui, which has large exposures to commodities and energy and last week reported a 14 per cent drop in net profit for the year through March, is expanding into healthcare as the world is gripped by the worst health crisis in a century.

The company has been approached by private equity on the potential share buyout of the Kuala Lumpur-traded company, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.

The discussions are preliminary and there is no certainty over whether any potential transaction will emerge, the report said, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the matter.

Mitsui shares were up about 1.2 per cent compared with a wider market rise of 0.3 per cent. IHH Healthcare shares were up around 0.7 per cent after jumping nearly 8 per cent on Thursday.

Source: Reuters

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