A Chinese company’s intention to buy an Australian medical centre giant with links to the defence force is on the Morrison government’s radar.
Jangho Group is hoping to one day buy pathology and radiology business Healius, which provides medical imaging services to the Australian Defence Force.
The Chinese-based company already has a 15.9 per cent stake in Healius and tried to buy the remainder of the operation for $2 billion in January.
The takeover bid was unsuccessful, but Jangho Group told the Hong Kong stock exchange it “intends to acquire Healius in the future”.
Asked about the issue on Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison stressed the decision would be considered by the Foreign Investment Review Board to ensure it’s in Australia’s “national interest”.
“The treasurer and our foreign investment laws only allow foreign investments where we don’t think it’s contrary to the national interest,” Mr Morrison told reporters in New South Wales.
“So you can expect those conditions, those analyses to be done on any such investments to ensure that Australia’s national interest is always first and foremost in any decisions that are taken.”
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds told the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on Tuesday that the government is “aware of the issue”, stressing it would protect the health records of defence personnel.
“The security of their health records is paramount,” she said.