Corporate hospital chain Fortis Healthcare and DLF Ltd, one of India’s largest realtors, will set up 15 hospitals across the country in the next three years through a 74:26 joint venture.
The project, to be finalized by the month-end, will cost about Rs2,000 crore, sources close to the deal said. The hospitals, banded under the venture tentatively named Fortis Specialty Hospitals, will come up on DLF properties.
Fortis plans to tap the capital market through an initial public offering (IPO) in April and DLF is awaiting approval from the market regulator ahead of a planned float which was billed as India’s biggest.
“We signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Fortis Healthcare Ltd to own, develop, establish, operate and manage, through a joint venture company, certain 250 to 400 bed hospitals,” DLF said in its recently revised IPO document.
Sector experts called the venture the first such partnership, as townships move towards being self-sustaining units and health care chains try to manage escalating real-estate costs.
“Ultimately, a township is known by the facilities in it,” said Sujit Jain, research analyst with Mumbai-based PINC Research. “DLF can leverage the brand (Fortis).”
The MoU was put together in January this year and a final agreement will be signed by the end of April, an industry source close to Fortis said. “It (the chain of hospitals) will be a national roll-out of up to 15 hospitals in the first phase to 2010. This will include super-speciality hospitals and ‘medicities’,” he added.
DLF group executive director Rajeev Talwar said the JV would eventually build up to 30 facilities in DLF’s townships. It would not be an exclusive arrangement, he said.
Fortis, which manages 1,900 beds across 12 hospitals in north India, plans to expand to 40 hospitals by 2010. It acquired Mumbai-based Hiranandani Healthcare for Rs25.6 crore on Wedneday.