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May, 30 2018

Fortis Healthcare offers fresh bids for minimum of Rs 15 billion investment

They will be given an opportunity to undertake due diligence and will have access to financial data. June 14 has been decided as the date for submitting binding bids.

Fortis Healthcare has invited fresh bids for an investment of at least Rs 15 billion in the country’s second-largest hospital chain providing an opportunity for existing bidders and new suitors to make an offer.

They will be given an opportunity to undertake due diligence and will have access to financial data. June 14 has been decided as the date for submitting binding bids.

Under the offer conditions, bidders will have to give a plan for acquiring the RHT Trust's assets, provide an option to minority investors to exit, and retain the current management and employees.

The decision to reopen the bids was taken by the newly constituted board of Fortis on Tuesday, a day after the Hero Enterprises Burmans duo withdrew their Rs 18 billion proposal over a lack of support from shareholders.

The consortium gave its consent on Monday to the board to invite fresh offers.

This is a third attempt by the board of the financially stressed hospital chain to secure an investor.

An agreement to merge the Fortis group’s hospitals with Manipal Hospitals, signed at the end of March, and the Hero Enterprises investment offer in May have been set aside owing to opposition from shareholders.

“The board has decided to initiate a fresh, time-bound process to optimise the company’s and shareholders’ short- and long-term interests. The process has been designed with a view to ensuring a robust outcome, coupled with tight timelines, keeping in view of the company’s near-term obligations,” Fortis Healthcare said in a stock exchange notification.

While the existing bidders Hero Enterprises-Burmans, Manipal Hospitals-TPG, and IHH Healthcare have been invited to participate in the process, other interested suitors have been asked to submit an expression of interest by Thursday evening.

The board will shortlist other suitors on Friday on the basis of the expression of interest.

The three existing bidders and shortlisted entities will get an opportunity to do due diligence and will be given access to data on finances and regulatory issues for 10 days.

“We will participate in the bid process,” said Ranjan Pai, managing director and chief executive officer, Manipal Health Enterprises.

Manipal Hospitals-TPG had submitted a bid valuing Fortis at Rs 180 a share in mid-May (OR MID-MARCH?).

Fortis Healthcare has appointed Standard Chartered Bank and Arpwood Capital financial advisors, and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Vaish Associates legal advisors.

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