The board of Fortis Healthcare Ltd on Thursday announced the appointment of an advisory committee headed by former PwC India chairman Deepak Kapoor to evaluate binding bids received for the healthcare chain.
Ruling out non-binding offers, Brian Tempest, a director on the board of Fortis Healthcare, said, “The advisory committee will only consider the binding offers received so far and submit its recommendation to the board on 25 April, following which the board will meet on 26 April to decide on the recommendation".
Though Tempest did not elaborate on which offers are binding, Mint had reported earlier that Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Bhd and China’s Fosun International have both submitted non-binding offers for Fortis, while the combine of private equity fund TPG and Manipal Healthcare Enterprises and family offices of Sunil Munjal and Anand Burman have separately submitted binding offers, with both sweetening their initial offers.
“The conversations with regard to ownership change in Fortis have gone on for more than one-and-a-half years and the board is of the view that its decision to consider only the binding bids is in the best interest of the shareholders," Tempest told reporters in a conference call.
As per takeover norms, the winning bids once approved by the board will be put before shareholders in an extraordinary general body meeting (EGM) expected in the last week of May.
Earlier in the day, Fortis Healthcare in a regulatory filing said it has received a notice from a group of shareholders including National Westminster Bank Plc and East Bridge Capital Master Fund seeking removal of four directors from the board.
Fortis said the shareholders, that have an aggregate of 12.04% of the paid-up capital of the company, have sought removal of Tempest, Harpal Singh, Sabina Vaisoha and Lt Gen Tejinder Singh Shergill from the board.
Mint was the first to report on 2 April that East Bridge Capital, along with some other minority shareholders unhappy with the valuation offered by TPG-Manipal, was seeking the ouster of current board and likely to call for an EGM.
“Anyone who has 10% or more stake is at liberty to call for an EGM and we respect their right to do so," Tempest said.
“As sought by these shareholders, the board will decide on a date for the EGM, which I expect will happen in the month of May."
In addition to the above decision, the Fortis board also approved the appointment of former PwC India senior partner Rohit Bhasin as an additional independent director with immediate effect for a period of five years.
Meanwhile, according to two people aware of developments, IHH Healthcare has sought three weeks’ time to make a binding offer for Fortis.
“IHH has also sought access to Fortis’ data room to able to make the binding offer," one of the persons cited above said.
When asked, Tempest did not reveal whether IHH or any shareholder of Fortis had been given access to the data room.
In another development, CNBC-TV18, citing people aware of the development, said that KKR-Radiant Lifecare Pvt Ltd has made a non-binding offer of a Rs10,000 crore upfront payment for Fortis.