Vastavam web: India’s privately-held Manipal Hospitals sweetened its bid for rival Fortis Healthcare Ltd on Sunday, offering to inject 21 billion rupees ($314 million) to help the ailing hospital operator meet its immediate cash needs.Manipal and its consortium partner TPG Capital are offering 160 rupees per share for the acquisition, according to a letter from Manipal posted by Fortis on the stock exchange feed.
Fortis has been the target of five companies and investment groups, who are vying for control of its 30-odd hospitals across India. The country’s private healthcare market is expected to enjoy strong growth with the introduction of a new government insurance plan that is expected to make private healthcare more affordable for millions of poor families.Fortis has set up an advisory committee to evaluate the binding offers. Its board plans to meet on May 10 to consider the recommendations.
Earlier this month, Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Bhd lifted its offer to 175 rupees a share, while Indian businessmen Sunil Munjal and Anand Burman increased their combined offer to invest in the company to 18 billion rupees. Both these bidders are vying for partial equity stakes in the company.Radiant Life Care, backed by private equity firm KKR & Co, has also made a binding offer to acquire Fortis’ Mumbai-based Mulund Hospital for an enterprise value of 12 billion rupees and a separate non-binding offer involving spin-off of diagnostic services arm SRL.Some investors are unhappy that the Manipal-led consortium has been given more time than rivals to match or top the rival bids and say they plan to vote against the group if it is selected as the winning bidder.