April 24, 2018 / 11:34 AM / a month ago

Suitors for India's Fortis revise bids ahead of panel recommendation

BENGALURU (Reuters) - India’s Manipal Hospitals Enterprises Private Ltd raised its offer for rival Fortis Healthcare Ltd (FOHE.NS) for the second time in a month, now valuing Fortis’ hospital business about 4 percent more than it had earlier.

A Fortis hospital building is pictured in New Delhi, India, March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi /Files

Several suitors for Fortis revised their offers this week, jostling to make the best bid before an advisory committee, formed by the company, makes its recommendation to the board on Thursday.

Fortis has been the target of five companies and investment groups, who are vying for control of its 30-odd hospitals in India, as the country’s private healthcare market is set to grow sharply.

Fortis said last week it would only consider binding bids.

Manipal’s new offer to buy Fortis’ hospitals is for 63.22 billion rupees ($949.8 million), up from the previous proposal of 60.61 billion rupees.

Radiant Life Care Pvt Ltd, backed by private equity firm KKR, also made a binding offer to acquire Fortis’ Mulund Hospital located in India’s business capital Mumbai for an enterprise value of 12 billion rupees, Fortis said on Tuesday.

    Radiant had already made a non-binding offer last week to buy more than a quarter of Fortis’ hospital business. Its new offer will provide immediate liquidity of 6.8 billion rupees for cash-strapped Fortis with no equity dilution for shareholders, Radiant said in the letter on Tuesday.

    Earlier on Tuesday, Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Bhd (IHHH.KL) revised its bid for Fortis, making a binding proposal for about a fifth of its total offer value.

    IHH's revised offer proposes an immediate infusion of 6.50 billion rupees and asks for the right to appoint two directors to Fortis' board, it said bit.ly/2Hpal2Y. The non-binding part of the proposal is for a subsequent infusion of up to 33.50 billion rupees.

    A consortium of two prominent Indian business families have also submitted an investment offer for Fortis and China’s Fosun International (0656.HK) had offered $350 million to buy less than a quarter of Fortis. On Monday, Fortis said the Hero-Burman consortium had extended the validity period on its offer to May 4.

    ** TIMELINE - Fortis Healthcare bidding war: The story so far

    ($1 = 66.5625 Indian rupees)

    Reporting by Tanvi Mehta and Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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