BENGALURU: India’s Fortis Healthcare Ltd said it had not decided whether to re-open bidding for itself, after an offer of funding that its board had accepted got a tepid response from investors, prolonging a fierce takeover battle.
The Hero Enterprise Investment Office and Burman Family Office’s offer this month to invest 18 billion rupees ($267 million) in the company did not go down well with Fortis shareholders, who voted out a director last week. Three directors resigned ahead of the vote.
The cash-strapped hospital’s operator has become an attractive investment target in recent months with five local and international suitors wanting to invest in or buy it, seeking to cash in on an expected boom in India’s private healthcare market.
Buyout offers from Fortis rival Manipal Health Enterprises and Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Bhd value Fortis much higher than the Hero-Burman investment offer.
But the Hero-Burman offer waived due diligence and would give Fortis quick access to funds needed to cut its large debt pile.
“It appears there may be indecision on the part of the company regarding the bid process,” the consortium said, adding: “We believe that this situation may have arisen largely on account of the lack of information available to stakeholders.”
After the board had agreed to the Hero-Burman offer, Manipal sweetened its offer to 180 rupees a share, valuing the company at 94.03 billion rupees – higher than the Hero-Burman offer valuing Fortis at 90 billion rupees.
(Reporting by Tanvi Mehta; Additional reporting by Zeba Siddiqui in Mumbai; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Adrian Croft)