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IHH sweetens Fortis bid amid heated takeover battle

ASIA'S largest private healthcare operator IHH Healthcare Bhd, has revised its bid for cash-strapped Fortis Healthcare, which runs about 30 hospitals in India. This deal sweetener comes amid a heated bidding war with four other entities looking to secure a stake in India's second-largest hospital chain.

In its filing with the Singapore bourse on Wednesday, IHH Healthcare said its proposal for an immediate equity infusion of 650 crore rupees (S$130 million) will now be priced at 175 rupees per share, a 9.4 per cent premium from the 160 rupees apiece proposed in April. 

A subsequent round of equity infusion for up to 3,350 crore rupees will also be at a share price not exceeding 175 rupees. However, this subsequent equity infusion will be subject to due diligence, and the "execution of mutually acceptable binding definitive documents", IHH Healthcare said.

The other parties vying for a piece of Fortis include TPG backed-Manipal Hospital, the Munjal and Burman families, China's Fosun International and KKR-backed Radiant Life Care.

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Tuesday was the deadline for the binding offers, which will be evaluated by an expert advisory committee. Fortis’ board is due to meet on May 10 to review the committee’s recommendations. 

In addition, IHH Healthcare noted that the revised terms of its proposal shall stand withdrawn if the company does not hear from Fortis by May 15. 

As at 3.35pm on Wednesday, shares in IHH Healthcare were trading down 1.47 per cent, or three Singapore cents to S$2.01 apiece.