- Fortis Healthcare board accepted Rs.1,800-crore offer on Thursday
- Winning bid by Hero Enterprise-Burman Family Office consortium
- Fortis board recommendation to be sent to shareholders for approval
The board of Fortis Healthcare on Thursday accepted an investment offer worth Rs 1,800 crore from the Hero Enterprise-Burman Family Office consortium. The cash-strapped hospital was a target of a fiercely contested bidding war. Hero Enterprise is an investment company formed by Sunil Munjal, a member of the family that runs India's largest motorcycle maker Hero. The Burman Family Office is the private investment arm of the family that owns consumer goods company Dabur India.
Hero Enterprise Investment Office and the Burman Family Office had made a binding offer to invest Rs 800 crore through a preferential share issue at Rs 167 apiece and Rs 1,000 crore via preferential issue of warrants at Rs 176 per warrant. The recommendation by Fortis' board would be sent to shareholders for approval, Fortis said.
Fortis Healthcare Ltd (FHL), which runs about 30 hospitals in India, had become a target of a heated takeover battle, with five entities bidding for the embattled company. Fortis has set up an advisory committee to evaluate offers from suitors vying to acquire the company, or take a stake in it. May 1 was the deadline submitting binding offers.
Fortis had been a target of five firms and investment group as they bet on a rapid growth for the private healthcare market in Asia's third-largest economy - Malaysia's IHH Healthcare; businessmen Sunil Munjal and Anand Burman; Radiant Life Care, China's Fosun International and privately-held Manipal Hospitals.
After the investment, Hero-Burman will together own just under 20 per cent of Fortis, including the 3 per cent they already own, Mr Munjal said. "We believe the reasons for considering this offer could be no requirement of due diligence and lesser equity dilution as compared to other offers," ICICI Securities analyst Sriraam Rathi said in a research note.
Fortis is embroiled in a regulatory investigation. The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) is investigating allegations that Fortis founders Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh took funds from the company. The duo, who have since left the company, deny any wrongdoing. In March, Fortis said it was looking into the allegations and that it expected the SFIO investigation to end in less than a year.
Private hospitals could also be boosted from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plans to implement a healthcare programme aimed at providing insurance cover to about half of India's population. Fortis shares today settled 2.6 per cent lower at Rs 148.40. (With Agency Inputs)
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