Malaysia’s IHH, Manipal-TPG left vying for Fortis

Preferred suitor Munjal-Burman combine opts out as healthcare chain receives fresh binding bids

Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare and Manipal-TPG combine have put in fresh binding bids for cash-strapped healthcare chain, while Munjal-Burman combine, which had earlier emerged as the preferred suitor for Fortis Healthcare, has backed out from the race.

In a regulatory filing, Fortis Healthcare said it has fresh binding bids, without specifying details.

While Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare stated that it has put in binding bid, sources said Manipal-TPG combine have also put in their bid.

The Munjal-Burman combine has, however, not submitted fresh binding bids on the last day, a source said. “The Board of Directors of the company has received binding bids on July 3,” Fortis Healthcare said in a BSE filing. The binding bids will be evaluated by the board in consultation with its advisors, it added.

Fresh criteria

As per the fresh criteria, that was put up by the Fortis board on May 29, the potential buyer had to make a minimum investment of ₹1,500 crore into Fortis Healthcare by way of preferential allotment. Apart from having a plan for funding the acquisition of RHT Health Trust (RHT), suitors should also have a plan for providing exit to private equity investors of diagnostic arm SRL.

Among other key criteria, the bids had be unconditional as well as mention about the source of funds for the transaction and elaborate on the plans for retention of current management and employees.

The backing out of Munjal-Burman combine from the race comes days after Fortis Healthcare announced that it has initiated legal action to recover about ₹500 crore of funds given as inter-corporate deposits (ICDs) to the firms controlled by Malvinder and Shivinder Singh. The loans were given without board approval and enough collaterals.

The company had also stated that market regulator SEBI had ordered a forensic probe into the company’s matters. The race for Fortis has witnessed several twists and turns over the past few months. The Manipal-TPG combine was the first to make an unsolicited non-binding offer for the cash-strapped healthcare chain on March 23, 2018.

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