'Fortis board to meet this week'

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"Last week, Fortis has received two binding offers: one is a revised offer from Manipal Hospital Enterprises Private Limited (MHEPL) and the second is a joint binding offer from Hero Enterprise Investment Office and Burman Family Office expressing interest in the company".

IHH, one of Asia's largest healthcare operators, bid Rs160 ($2.45) per share to buy Fortis last week, topping a Rs155 per share offer the Manipal-TPG combine.

Fortis Healthcare on Monday said its board will meet on Thursday to "look at all eligible options" as two more parties have entered the fray to acquire it after its pact with Manipal Health Enterprises.

Fortis Healthcare had scaled 52-week high of Rs 230.90 on May 3, 2017, and 52-week low of Rs 106.65 on February 6 this year. Hero Enterprise Investment Office and the Burman Family Office have also made a binding offer to invest a total of ₹ 1,250 crore through a preferential share allotment at at least ₹ 156 rupees a share.

On the other hand, Fortis Healthcare stated that "the Board of Directors of the Company have not yet made a decision". However, Munjal-Burman joint offer still awaits a final call. IHH said it could provide an alternative offer which would provide a better option to the company's shareholders at an attractive valuation.

The offer came about nine months after IHH walked away from bilateral talks with Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, who were in control of Fortis at the time.

The battle for the control of Fortis Healthcare is expected to intensify as Malaysian giant IHH Healthcare plans to make a hostile bid to buy a majority stake in the Indian hospital chain if its board doesn't consider its expression of interest (EOI) - presented on April 11 - favourably.

Meanwhile, proxy advisory firm Institutional Investor Advisory Services (IiAS) has stated that Fortis Healthcare shareholders need an objective and independent decision-making body to advise its board on the company's sale.

When approached, IHH Healthcare declined to comment, whereas Fortis Healthcare maintained silence on DNA Money's questionnaire.

As per the report, "shareholders need a decision-making body that is objective, independent, and does have a historical association with the promoter group or their companies".

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