December 24, 2018 / 11:18 AM / 8 months ago

UPDATE 1-Max India to sell hospital assets to rival Radiant and KKR

(Adds details, context, shares)

Dec 24 (Reuters) - Indian healthcare firm Max India Ltd said here on Monday it would sell a majority stake in its hospital-operating joint venture to KKR-backed Radiant Life Care Pvt Ltd, resulting in a listed company worth 72.42 billion rupees ($1.03 billion).

In a so-called reverse merger, Radiant will buy out the other JV partner, South Africa-based hospital operator Life Healthcare, and merge its own assets into Max Healthcare. This entity will list itself and offer more than 3,200 beds in 16 hospitals across India, Max India said in a statement.

The deal is expected to give Radiant a firmer grip on the private healthcare market in India, where spending is on the rise as Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks to implement a healthcare programme aimed at providing insurance cover to hundreds of millions of people.

Radiant’s promoter Abhay Soi will own 23.2 percent of the combined entity and will be its chairman, while KKR will hold 51.9 percent.

The rest of Max India’s non-healthcare businesses will be spun out to the company’s shareholders and listed.

Earlier this year, Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Bhd won an extended bidding war to take over cash-strapped Fortis Healthcare Ltd, though the open offer has now been held up due to a court ruling.

Max India shares closed 3.95 percent lower at 80.30 rupees.

$1 = 70.0200 Indian rupees Reporting by Arnab Paul in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair, Sayantani Ghosh and Mark Potter

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