RATCH Group has agreed to acquire a 10% stake or 380,857,051 shares in Principal Capital, which operates a network of hospitals in Thailand, for $49.38m (THB1.55bn).

The companies have signed a share subscription, share purchase and shareholder agreements.

Principal expects the deal to help expand its existing 11 hospitals across ten provinces to 20 hospitals next year. It also plans to boost primary care networks from 13 clinics to 100 clinics across the country.

Principal Capital managing director Dr Satit Viddayakorn said: “Previously, RATCH had thoroughly studied PRINC’s business and finally been confident in our efficient hospital management under Shared Service Model.

“Importantly, we have a team of doctors, personnel and management teams that have capability to serve our expansion of hospital and other health businesses in the future. We are confident that PRINC can provide health care service together with creating shared value for stakeholders in all locations of our hospitals.”

The company aims to deliver medical care services in lacking regions and complement public medical services.

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RATCH anticipates that the collaboration will help bolster the country’s public health system and improve access to healthcare services.

Healthcare business in the country has long-term growth potential owing to an aging population and rising health consciousness, RATCH noted.

RATCH Group CEO Kijja Sripatthangkura said: “At the beginning of synergy, both will collectively drive PRINC’s strategic plan and target by focusing on building operation bases in secondary-city across the country in order to enhance access to quality healthcare for people, providing service and cost management through innovation and cutting-edge technology, and fostering community, society and environment.”

The company added that Principal will be able to meet its strategic growth goals, with plans to further work together in the future.