IHH plans rival bid for India's Fortis Healthcare

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IHH is the world's second-largest provider of integrated healthcare services in terms of market cap (around $13 billion), and is the largest private healthcare provider in Asia.

Both Hero group and Dabur India which are now having three per cent stake in Fortis Healthcare intend to invest Rs 1,250 crore in two tranches.

The proposal, which is subject to certain conditions, includes an immediate investment of 5 billion rupees and 7.5 billion rupees after diligence is completed within three weeks.

The offer comes at a time when the TPG Capital-Manipal Hospitals combine has tabled a revised offer to woo Fortis investors, giving them a higher valuation and greater participation in Fortis after the transaction as against its initial offer made on 27 March.

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Manipal, seeking to expand its presence beyond southern India, first offered to buy Fortis last month, proposing a deal that would give control of the combined company to Manipal Chief Executive Ranjan Pai and US buyout firm TPG Capital. "The said proposal is under evaluation by the company", Fortis said in a statement to the exchanges.

Spelling out the details of their offer, the Munjals and Burmans in a joint letter said, "We are investing an amount of Rs 500 crore based on current business and financial position of the company without doing any due diligence".

Munjals and Burmans have offered higher of Rs 156 per share or price determined by SEBI's ICDR rules.

Utilisation of proceeds from this funding shall only be for the purposes of payment of employee dues, repayment of loans which have matured and payment of pressing creditors and to monitor these, a board seat shall be given to investors, it added.

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Fortis shares gained 4.17 per cent to end at Rs 153.80 on the BSE on Thursday. Earlier, there was buzz about the Fortis management and its ex-promoters-brothers Malvinder and Shivinder Singh who earlier were the promoters of Ranbaxy Laboratories-working with a few prominent Delhi families to bail out the business that is facing a liquidity crunch.

A lack of quality assets in healthcare in India also makes Fortis attractive, a source advising Fortis on the deal said, declining to be named. Ranjan Pai, chairman, Manipal Education and Medical Group, in an interview to VCCircle had said that given the complexity of the deal structure, the relative valuation has not been properly understood. A spokesperson for IHH declined to comment on the non-binding offer.

IHH had engaged in talks early previous year to invest in Fortis, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.

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