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Published on 16/04/2018 11:52:33 AM | Source: Reuters

Fortis board to meet this week to consider takeover options

MUMBAI  - Fortis Healthcare Ltd said on Monday its board is expected to meet this week to look at all eligible options after the company received three bids from interested parties.

Indian rival Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt Ltd had last month offered to buy the hospital business of Fortis, which is under investigation over financial fraud.

Earlier in the day, Malaysia's IHH Healthcare Bhd said Fortis declined to engage with the company regarding a takeover offer, citing binding agreements with other parties.

IHH, one of Asia's largest healthcare operators, offered to buy Fortis last week at a price that values the hospitals chain at about $1.3 billion -- higher than the roughly $1.2 billion valuation offer made by Manipal.

Some of Fortis's minority shareholders are dissatisfied with the Manipal offer, and it is unclear if the IHH price appeals to them.

A merger with a hospital chain such as Manipal might make more sense, said an analyst with a brokerage in Mumbai, adding that more details of the IHH offer were needed.

IHH operates healthcare facilities across nine countries via a network of 49 hospitals including Mount Elizabeth and Gleneagles in Singapore.

Two Indian investors - Sunil Munjal's Hero Enterprise and the Burman Family Office -- offered last week to make an investment worth 12.5 billion rupees ($191.5 million) in Fortis.

Shares of Fortis fell about 2 percent on Monday after the announcement by IHH and ended 2.8 percent lower. IHH shares ended down 0.33 percent after trading was halted.

IHH said on Monday Fortis indicated it was unable to engage due to binding agreements with Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt Ltd, Manipal Global Health Services and private equity firm TPG Asia.

(Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui in Mumbai and Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Sunil Nair)