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Fortis Healthcare launches new bidding process

FILE PHOTO: A Fortis hospital building is pictured in Gurgaon, India, May 11, 2018. REUTERS/Saumya Khandelwal/File Photo

BENGALURU (Reuters) - India's cash-strapped Fortis Healthcare Ltd laid out plans on Tuesday for a fresh bidding process, after it became the subject of a bidding war by suitors seeking to cash in on an expected boom in India's private healthcare market.

Five local and overseas suitors became engaged in a race to either take over or buy a stake in Fortis Healthcare, forcing them to revise their initial offers.

On Tuesday, Fortis invited three of those suitors to participate in a new bidding process - the Hero-Burman group, a consortium of TPG and Manipal Health Enterprises, and Malaysia's IHH Healthcare Bhd - as well as any other parties interested in bidding.

Fortis's board earlier this month approved an investment offer for 18 billion rupees ($265 million) from the Hero Enterprise Investment Office and the Burman Family Office consortium, but shareholders were lukewarm to the plan which waived due diligence. The planned stake size was not disclosed.

Bidders in the new round should submit their offers by June 14, with a minimum investment of 15 billion rupees by way of preferential allotment. They were given 10 days to conduct financial and legal due diligence.

The bids should also provide a plan for funding Fortis's acquisition of RHT Health Trust's Indian assets, agreed in November, and options to private equity investors to exit Fortis's unit SRL Ltd.

Spokespersons for IHH, Hero-Burman and Manipal all declined to comment.

Standard Chartered Bank and Arpwood Capital are acting as financial advisors to Fortis, while Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Vaish Associates are legal advisors.



($1 = 67.8700 Indian rupees)


(Reporting by Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Zeba Siddiqui; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Susan Fenton)