IHH tops TPG-backed consortium offer with $1.3b bid to buy India’s Fortis

Photo: Reuters

IHH Healthcare Bhd. has proposed a potential bid of as much as $1.3 billion for Fortis Healthcare Ltd. that tops an offer from a TPG-backed consortium, according to people with knowledge of the matter, opening a possible takeover battle for India’s second-largest hospital chain.

Asia’s largest hospital operator sent a letter to the Fortis board Wednesday saying it may be willing to pay as much as 160 rupees per share to acquire control of the Indian company, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. It has asked the Fortis board for some time to update its due diligence before making a formal bid, the people said.

The Kuala Lumpur-based company told the Fortis board it wants to work with them on a friendly offer, according to one of the people.

IHH’s interest came only a day after TPG-backed Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt sweetened its bid to hive off Fortis’s hospital operations and merge them with its own business. Manipal said its revised plan offered Fortis shareholders 155 rupees per share in value, up from 140 rupees earlier.

The potentially competing bids are the latest twist in the Fortis saga, with India’s fraud watchdog and stock regulator investigating the company after Bloomberg News reported the company’s founders took at least 5 billion rupees out of the firm without board approval. Brothers Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh have resigned from the company and have lost control of their shareholding due to mounting debt.

No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty IHH will proceed with a bid, the people said. A representative for IHH declined to comment, while a spokesman for Fortis said he couldn’t immediately comment.

Manipal’s controlling shareholder Ranjan Pai said in an interview Wednesday the reason he was not buying Fortis outright was because of the potential liabilities posed by the investigations. IHH is planning a cash offer for Fortis shares, people with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday. If the approach is rejected by the Fortis board, IHH will consider taking its offer directly to the Indian company’s shareholders, according to the people.

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

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Bloomberg

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.