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Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JM buy 77 percent of Seven Hills debt: Report

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JM buy 77 percent of Seven Hills debt: Report

Mumbai: In a recent development, 77 percent of debt of cash’s trapped Seven Hills has been acquired by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA-ML) and J M Financial Asset Reconstruction Company together, states a recent media report.

ET has reported that the Bank of America and J M Financial Asset Reconstruction combine has bought the debt of Rs 910 crore of Seven Hills out of total debt of Rs 1,300 crore from the lenders led by Axis Bank. Axis Bank had an exposure of Rs 770 crore to Seven Hills.

The purchase of the debt will give the consortium control over the hospitals.

Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that Seven Hills Hospital is facing a major financial crunch that forced it to shut down its outpatient department services in January 2018 to save expenses. Moreover, the hospital also did not be able to pay its employees including employed and consultant doctors, which have forced the doctors to refrain from coming to duties. The hospital came out with the decision to shut down its OPD after discussing with the senior doctors and management. One of the major reasons for the shutdown comes as saving the electricity bill which ran to the tune of Rs 1 crore per month.

Read also: Seven Hills Hospital Crisis: OPD shuts down, doctors unpaid for 6 months

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had also taken stringent action against the hospital over non-payment of Rs 9 crore property tax.

Read also: Catastrophe at Seven Hills, BMC seals admin office over unpaid tax of Rs 9 crores

Following the financial crisis, lenders had initiated insolvency proceedings against the hospital at National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

It has been reported that 10 parties including Manipal Hospitals, private equity fund Bain, Apollo Global Management, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Apollo Hospitals, Dubai based Aster DM and  Narayana Health in partnership with Piramal Group has shown interest in acquiring the equity of Seven Hills. The bids for the equity portion of the company are expected to be opened shortly.

A person told ET that Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the lead stakeholder in the consortium and this is perhaps the first time a foreign bank has bought a major portion of the total debt of an Indian company.

Seven Hills hospital chain was started by Andhra Pradesh-based medical professional Jitendra Maganti in 1982 and was built in Mumbai under a public-private partnership of nearly Rs 1,000-crore investment. The hospital operates nearly 1500 beds in Mumbai and Vishakhapatnam.

Read also: Seven Hills hospitals for Sale: Apollo Hospitals, Aster DM, Narayan Health initial bidders

Source: with inputs
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