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Fortis Healthcare jumps to two-month high after IHH raises offer

Mumbai

FORTIS Healthcare Ltd shares extended their best monthly gain in more than three years after IHH Healthcare Bhd and two Indian tycoons revised their offers in the race for the country's second-largest hospital chain.

The stock climbed as much as 5.3 per cent to 160.50 rupees, headed for its highest level since March 6. Fortis's shares gained 24 per c nt last month, the best performance since February 2015.

Asia's most-valuable hospital operator has offered to make an immediate equity investment at 175 rupees (S$3.50) a share, up from its previous bid of 160 rupees apiece, and subsequently invest more after completing a due diligence. The Munjal family's Hero Enterprise Investment Office and Burman Family Office also submitted a revised proposal, raising the amount they will invest in Fortis to 18 billion rupees.

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At least four suitors had expressed interest in Fortis, after private equity firm TPG-backed Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt made the first move in March. Manipal Health now has time till May 6 to revise its offer before the board meets on May 10 to consider binding bids.

The two Indian business families, Munjals and Burmans, have offered to invest 8 billion rupees through a preferential share allotment at 167 rupees apiece and another 10 billion rupees via issue of warrants at 176 rupees apiece.

The fight over Fortis kicked off after the shareholding of its founders, Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, slid to less than 1 per cent as lenders seized stock they'd put up as collateral. The brothers resigned from the board in February, a day before Bloomberg News reported they had taken at least 5 billion rupees out without board approval. BLOOMBERG