Mumbai: Radiant Life Care Pvt. Ltd is in talks to take over the operations and management (O&M) of Mumbai’s Jaslok Hospital, two people close to the development said. Mumbai-based Radiant, which develops, manages and operates healthcare facilities, had previously made an unsuccessful bid for Fortis Healthcare Ltd.

KKR & Co. backed-Radiant is looking to strike a deal with the trustees of Jaslok Hospital.

“Radiant is leading the talks for an operations and management alliance with Jaslok Hospital on the lines of Radiant’s existing arrangements with Delhi’s BLK Super Speciality Hospital and Mumbai’s Nanavati hospital," one of the two people cited above said, requesting anonymity.

KKR acquired around 49% in the firm in July 2017 for $200 million. Radiant has an O&M alliance with BLK Super Speciality Hospital and Dr Balabhai Nanavati Hospital, Mumbai’s iconic healthcare institute.

Set up in 2000, Radiant forayed into the healthcare sector with the redevelopment of BLK Super Specialty Hospital located in New Delhi at a cost of 350 crore.

It now operates and manages the hospital as well. Radiant, via BLK Super Speciality Hospital (Delhi), has also partnered with B&B Hospital in Nepal to help set-up surgical and medical oncology programmes.

It tied up with Nanavati Hospital in 2014 in a profit-sharing arrangement in lieu of its operation and management services. It will develop Nanavati Hospital into a super speciality hospital and add 250 beds to its current 360-bed capacity.

Jaslok Hospital, set up in 1973, is considered to be the oldest tertiary care hospital in the country. The hospital has 364 beds, including 75 beds in intensive care units.

Even as Radiant is in talks with the trustees of Jaslok, other competitors are also holding discussions separately for bagging the O&M deal.

“The talks are progressing well although there are other suitors such as Hinduja Group and Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare," the second person said. He added that the trustees are keen on getting a professional operator to run the hospital located in south Mumbai.

A KKR spokesperson declined to comment on the matter. “This subject is entirely in the realm of speculation," Abhay Soi, chairman and managing director at Radiant stated in a text message.

“We wouldn’t like to give credence to market speculations," said an official from Jaslok hospital. IHH spokesperson in an email response stated, “We do not comment on market speculation."

Mails sent to Jaslok and Hinduja Group did not elicit any response till the time of going to press.

IHH has recently completed the acquisition of a 31% stake in Fortis, infusing 4,000 crore into the hospital firm. The Malaysian healthcare company runs nine hospitals in the country and has been looking to expand in India. Hinduja Group runs two hospitals in Mumbai.

Radiant had submitted a bid for Fortis but it later backed out because of aggressive bidding for the asset.

In September, it announced that it will be buying 49.7% stake in Max Healthcare Ltd in a secondary transaction from South Africa based Life Healthcare Group Holdings Ltd for $293 million. The transaction is likely to be closed by December. Interest of PE firms in the healthcare sector has been on the rise.

In the six months ended 30 June, the sector saw 23 private equity and venture capital deals worth $679 million as against 20 deals worth $402 million for the corresponding period a year ago, according to a report by EY.

The healthcare sector in India has seen several large deals in the recent years such as a $200 million investment by True North in Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), a $50 million investment in Asia Healthcare Holdings, which is backed by US private equity giant TPG Growth, by Singapore state investor Temasekowned Sheares Healthcare.

Close