New Delhi: Hospital chain Fortis Healthcare Ltd expects to launch a Rs10 billion rights issue in July, its finance chief said on Tuesday.
“What appears to us is that by end of July, we should be able to open the issue,” Yogesh Sarin said over the telephone. “If not end of July, then first week of August.”
The New Delhi-based firm had filed for the issue earlier this year, and plans to use the proceeds to fund its expansion.
Fortis has 28 hospitals with 3,280 beds. It has a target of 40 hospitals by 2012, and has said it would build new facilities or buy out other hospitals.
Since the year began, it has taken stakes in hospitals in Mauritius, Bangalore, Kota and Mumbai. It is also building a hospital in New Delhi, which will come on board by the year end.
Media reports say Fortis is in talks to buy a stake or some assets of Wockhardt Hospitals. Wockhardt’s chairman also indicated on Monday that Fortis could be one of the suitors.
Both Sarin and chief executive Bhavdeep Singh declined to confirm the talks, or on how many deals Fortis was pursuing.
“We can only confirm the greenfield that we now are working on 600 beds in the next 12-18 months,” Singh said, referring to the New Delhi hospital.
“Having said that, we think we have enough opportunities burning in the fire that we are comfortable with our (2012) target,” he added.
Fortis on Tuesday reported a fourth-quarter profit of Rs47.8 million, compared with a loss of 98.9 million a year ago, helped by lower expenses such as interest costs, the officials said.
Income from operations rose 31% to Rs1.7 billion. Sarin said all but one of Fortis’ hospitals were profitable on an Ebitda basis.
Shares in the firm, which the market values at about Rs21.5 billion, are up 44% so far in the year, compared with the broader index’s 50% rise.
By 3:14 p.m., they were trading about 5% down at Rs95.20 in a weak Mumbai market.