Fortis unable to engage with our offer, says IHH Healthcare of Malaysia

Fortis indicated inability to engage in deal due to Manipal pact IHH Healthcare

On Monday, the Malaysian firm said the Fortis board sent it a response letter indicating that it was unable to engage with IHH due to binding agreements with Manipal Health Enterprises Private, Manipal Global Health Services and TPG Asia, according to Reuters.

Malaysia's IHH Healthcare Bhd has made a proposed offer for Fortis worth $1.3 billion, while smaller local rival Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt Ltd, has made an offer of about $1.2 billion.

According to public statements, Fortis Healthcare's Board will be meeting on Thursday "to look at all eligible options and determine the future course of action that is in the best interests of the company, employees and shareholders".

Separately, 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.

IHH, one of Asia's largest healthcare operators, said Fortis Healthcare had declined to engage with it on its offer.

In the letter to the directors of FHL last week, Tan See Leng, managing director and group CEO of IHH Healthcare Berhard, had expressed his company's "strong interest in Fortis Healthcare Ltd and its affiliates in a suitable manner".

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On the other hand, Fortis Healthcare stated that "the Board of Directors of the Company have not yet made a decision".

"At this juncture, IHH has not entered into any discussions, negotiations or transactions, " it added.

Meanwhile, IHH advised its shareholders or investors to exercise caution and seek appropriate independent advice when dealing in IHH shares. Shares of IHH closed two sen or 0.33% lower at RM6.10 yesterday, bringing it a market value of RM50.26 billion.

Fortis, which is facing multiple probes, received a setback a few months back when the Delhi High Court ruled in favour of Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo and allowed it to collect ₹3,500 crore from promoters Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh.

Earlier, IHH has asked Fortis to respond to its offer of up to 160 rupee per share by April 18.

This time, however, IHH has justified that it believes in the potential of the Indian healthcare story, and is positive that its partnership with Fortis could deliver maximum value to its shareholders.

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