Fortis-Manipal merger expected to be completed in 10 to 12 months

Fortis Healthcare Ltd (FHL) on Wednesday said that the merger of its hospitals business into Manipal Hospitals Enterprises is expected […]

   

Fortis Healthcare Ltd (FHL) on Wednesday said that the merger of its hospitals business into Manipal Hospitals Enterprises is expected to be completed in 10 to 12 months. The company’s board on Tuesday had approved demerger of its hospitals business, which will be acquired by Manipal Hospitals and TPG Capital, along with the sale of 20 per cent stake in diagnostics chain SRL Ltd. “The merger will take time. The merging of Fortis into Manipal will take between 10 to 12 months,” FHL CEO Bhavdeep Singh said in a conference call. The company had said on Tuesday that the proposed transaction was subject to shareholders’ approval, creditors’ approval, applicable regulatory approvals (including Competition Commission of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India, stock exchanges, National Company Law Tribunal and other customary conditions precedent. When asked about the investigations by Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) in the company over alleged financial irregularities in the company involving its promoters, Singh brothers, Bhavdeep Singh said, “We are cooperating with the ongoing SFIO investigations.” The sale of the hospital business of Fortis to Manipal-TPG combine comes at a time when the Singh brothers – Malvinder and Shivinder – are facing intense pressure over alleged financial irregularities at Fortis and Religare, which the SFIO is investigating. Both Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh had quit from the boards of Fortis and Religare last month. The Delhi High Court had on 31 January upheld an international arbitral award of Rs 3,500 crore passed in favour of Japanese pharma major Daiichi Sankyo, which had alleged that the former promoters of erstwhile Ranbaxy Laboratories had concealed information about proceedings against them by the US Food and Drug Administration. Moreover, on 15 February, the Supreme Court lifted its stay on sale of shares of Fortis Healthcare Ltd pledged with banks by the Singh brothers before 31 August, allowing financial institutions, including Axis Bank and Yes Bank, to sell the pledged shares. Shares of Fortis Healthcare tanked 9.58 per cent in the afternoon trade at Rs 128.80 apiece on BSE, reacting to the news of sale of its hospitals business. As part of the transaction, Fortis board had also approved sale of 20 per cent stake in diagnostics chain SRL Ltd. Manipal Hospitals, part of Manipal Education and Medical Group, is owned by Dr Ranjan Pai and has been backed by TPG, a leading global alternative asset firm and experienced healthcare investor since 2015. As part of the proposed transaction, Ranjan Pai and TPG will invest Rs 3,900 crore in to the merged entity. The combined entity will have pan India presence with 45 hospitals and a bed capacity of over 7,658 beds. It will have over 4,200 doctors, more than 9,300 nurses and 11,400-plus other employees across India.

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