Hospital supplier Technoline confirms Vitals loan in buy-out of former shareholders

Medical supplier denies allegations by Nationalist MPs that company is owned by Vitals or by government parties

The €5.14 million loan, made from Vitals Procurement of Jersey, to Gateway, effectively meant that the people running VGH had assisted Vassallo in buying out Techoline’s former shareholders
The €5.14 million loan, made from Vitals Procurement of Jersey, to Gateway, effectively meant that the people running VGH had assisted Vassallo in buying out Techoline’s former shareholders

The medical equipment company that was granted exclusivity by Vitals Global Healthcare, the former concessionaire for three Maltese hospitals, has confirmed its relationship to VGH’s shareholders.

In a statement, Technoline confirmed that Ivan Vassallo, the company’s marketing director, had acquired the company through his personal company Gateway Solutions through a loan from VGH’s shareholders.

The news was originally revealed by The Shift in a leak of the share purchase agreement when the hospital concession moved from VGH to American healthcare giant Steward.

The €5.14 million loan, made from Vitals Procurement of Jersey, to Gateway, effectively meant that the people running VGH had assisted Vassallo in buying out Techoline’s former shareholders, and secure exclusivity to supply the VGH concession. Vitals Procurement is owned by a series of offshore companies in Jersey owned by VGH shareholders and proponents Ram Tumuluri and Shaukat Ali.

The loan is also secured by a pledge on shares and Ivan Vassallo’s personal equity.

In a statement, Vassallo said he categorically denied allegations by Nationalist MPs Jason Azzopardi and Beppe Fenech Adami in parliament, that Technoline was owned by VGH, or Steward Healthcare or any individuals in government.

“This is clearly untrue and factually incorrect,” Vassallo said, declaring himself to be the single ultimate beneficial owner of both Technoline and Gateway Solutions.

“VGH, Steward and any other party have not acquired Technoline,” he said, adding that Technoline’s supply chain management contract was based on VGH’s initial plans for their concession in Malta and potential business abroad.

Fending off accusations of a monopoly on the hospital concession’s procurement, which contract has now passed on to Steward since it acquired the hospitals’ concession in 2018, Vassallo said Technoline had “always reached out to other local distributors to engage them in its activities on behalf of and for VGH/SHI business.”

Vassallo also said that no agreement with either Vitals or Steward had the Maltese government or any such agency as a party.

“Technoline’s operations are not funded by either VGH or SHI or any other commercial entity. Technoline Ltd’s operating credit lines are solely via local banks. We take the allegations being made extremely seriously and will take effective measures to protect Technoline’s reputation from malicious and politically-motivated false news campaigns. These measures will include all legal avenues as determined by our legal advisors.”

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