Fortis receives unsolicited bid from IHH Healthcare for Rs 160

Fortis Healthcare

A merger between Manipal and Fortis had the potential to create India's largest healthcare services provider by revenue, outranking Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd.

Fortis separately on Thursday received an investment offer worth 12.5 billion rupees ($191.5 million) from two Indian investors - Sunil Munjal's Hero Enterprise and the Burman Family Office, the private investment arm of the family that owns consumer goods firm Dabur India.

"As on date, based on publicly-available information and our preliminary analysis, we believe a price of up to Rs 160 per Fortis share to be appropriate, subject to satisfactory completion of a due diligence", he said.

IHH letter, which was made public by Fortis on Friday, said that its request for due diligence primarily stemmed from the inability of the statutory auditors of the company to opine on its financial position as at December 31, 2017, and regulatory investigations that were now under way.

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While seeking a due diligence of Fortis on its financial position of up to December 2017, Leng said Fortis' recent agreement with Manipal Healthcare and TPG Capital for a transaction involved various complex steps over a prolonged period.

Further, the letter said,"Allotment and pricing shall be as per Sebi ICDR guidelines for preferential issues or Rs 156 per share which is higher".

The offer involves one seat on Fortis' board following infusion of Rs500 crore and commensurate representation after the infusion of Rs750 crore.

The rival bid by IHH would follow Manipal's offer on April 10 to buy Fortis at around 155 rupees (RM9.19) per share, or 80.39 billion rupees, which minority shareholders - including billionaire Indian investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala - had expressed concerns about.

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Fortis shares gained 4.17 per cent to end at Rs 153.80 on the BSE on Thursday.

While the bidders are lining up, the Fortis saga has been on for a while. Earlier, there was buzz about the Fortis management and its ex-promoters-brothers Malvinder and Shivinder Singh who earlier were the promoters of Ranbaxy Laboratories-working with a few prominent Delhi families to bail out the business that is facing a liquidity crunch. Ranjan Pai, chairman, Manipal Education and Medical Group, in an interview to VCCircle had said that given the complexity of the deal structure, the relative valuation has not been properly understood. If Fortis board rejects the approach, IHH will consider taking its offer directly to the company's shareholders, according to the people.

The announcement was made by Fortis Healthcare post market hours.

IHH had engaged in talks early previous year to invest in Fortis, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.

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