Malaysia's IHH Healthcare tops Manipal Hospital's bid for Fortis

With this offer unlikely to be revised further a rival bid for Fortis from Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Berhad is the only event that could tempt them into seeking a better deal. Graphic Mint

IHH Proposes Up to $1.3 Billion Fortis Bid, Topping TPG

Malaysian investment holding company IHH Healthcare Bhd is proposing a rival offer for Fortis Healthcare Ltd, valuing the Indian company at as much as $1.3 billion, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Manipal Hospitals Enterprises Pvt Ltd offered to buy Fortis, which is among India's largest hospital operators, at 155 rupees per share earlier this week. The Fortis Healthcare is said to have only Rs 700 million in liquid cash.

"Our request for such due diligence primarily stems from the inability of the statutory auditors of the Company to opine on its financial position as on December 31 2017 and regulatory investigations that are now underway", it said.

"As part of the proposal, IHH will work with the board and the management of the company to identify optimal financing solutions to enable the company to fulfil its commitments during the challenging phase and stay afloat", the proposal said.

A second offer was made by Sunil Munjal-owned Hero Enterprise Investment and the Burmans of Dabur India on Thursday who got together to bid for FHL offering Rs. 1,250 crore.

Further, the letter said,"Allotment and pricing shall be as per Sebi ICDR guidelines for preferential issues or Rs 156 per share which is higher".

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Fortis shares gained 4.17 per cent to end at Rs 153.80 on the BSE on Thursday.

The potentially competing bids are the latest twist in the Fortis saga, with the fraud watchdog and stock regulator investigating the company after media reports said the company's founders took at least Rs 500 crore out of the firm without board approval.

In this regard, the company has confirmed that on 11/04/2018 the Board of Directors of the Company have received an unsolicited non-binding expression of interest from IHH Healthcare Berhad for possible due diligence and participation with the Company.

"As on date, based on publicly-available information and our preliminary analysis, we believe a price of up to Rs 160 per Fortis share to be appropriate, subject to satisfactory completion of a due diligence", he said.

Manipal's controlling shareholder Ranjan Pai on Wednesday said the reason he was not buying Fortis outright was because of the potential liabilities posed by the investigations.

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