June 26 (Reuters) - Fortis Healthcare Ltd, which is embroiled in a takeover battle that has drawn international bidders, on Wednesday said loss for the March quarter ballooned to 9.32 billion rupees ($136.3 million) hurt by impairment charges.
Fortis, which delayed reporting results for the quarter as it completed an internal probe, said the goodwill impairment charges and write-offs were related to inter-corporate deposits and advances.
Net loss for the year-ago quarter was 638 million rupees.
Fortis detailed the findings of its internal investigation and said it was in the process of taking “suitable legal measures” against former Executive Chairman Malvinder Singh to recover payments and company assets held by him.
Fortis has become the target of a bidding war by suitors seeking to get a share of a boom in India’s private healthcare market. Its board is looking at bids from parties including Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Bhd and a consortium of Manipal Health Enterprises and private equity firm TPG Capital.
Despite the significant interest, no suitor has gone all out on the offer price mainly due to regulatory investigations into allegations that Fortis’ founders, Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh, siphoned off funds from the company. They quit as directors in February but have denied any wrongdoing.
Fortis said it will appoint an external agency to investigate its internal controls and also evaluate its organisational structure, including the delegation of powers of the board. ($1 = 68.3600 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)