Fortis gets revised bids amid revamp

MUMBAI • Fortis Healthcare Ltd said it received revised takeover proposals from two of its four suitors, intensifying a battle to gain control of the country’s second-largest hospital chain, amid calls from some shareholders to replace the board.

Two Indian business families sweetened their binding offer by boosting the amount they will invest, according to a Fortis filing to exchanges yesterday.

IHH Healthcare Bhd has also revised its proposal and included an offer to provide working capital funds, Fortis said in a filing late on Wednesday.

Separately, East Bridge Capital Master Fund and Jupiter India Fund, which own a combined 12.04% of Fortis, have sent a notice to the hospital operator seeking removal of the existing board members and appointing new independent directors, Fortis said in a filing late on Wednesday.

The developments come as Fortis’ board was set to meet yesterday to consider at least four competing offers made in the past few days.

The takeover battle was sparked after the company’s founders lost control of their shareholding due to mounting debt, and probes got underway into allegations they took money from Fortis without board approval.

Hero Enterprise Investment Office and the Burman Family Office have offered to invest 15 billion rupees (RM886.92 million) subject to some conditions, they wrote in their letter dated April 18 to Fortis attached to the filing.

They proposed to invest five billion rupees through a preferential share allotment of at least 156 rupees a share, and 10 billion rupees via an issue of warrants at least 161.60 rupees apiece. The offer is valid for five days.

IHH, Asia’s most valuable hospital operator, has offered to invest up to 40 billion rupees through a preferential share allotment at a price not exceeding 160 rupees a share, which will fund Fortis’ buyout of assets of its Singapore- listed trust RHT Health Trust. — Bloomberg