GIC defers preferential investment in Fortis

GIC defers preferential investment in Fortis

New Delhi: Fortis Healthcare said the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. (GIC) had decided to defer a preferential investment but the sovereign wealth fund will evaluate participating in broader fund raising by Fortis.

Fortis, pitted against Malaysian state fund Khazanah for control of Singapore hospital chain Parkway Holdings, will have to offer more than $2.3 billion to buy all of Parkway.

In a statement on Friday, the Indian firm, which already holds roughly 25% of Parkway said GIC remains committed to Fortis through its substantial investment in Fortis’ convertible bonds. GIC declined comment.

“The statement doesn’t necessarily mean GIC is committed to the cause of Fortis," said Ranjit Kapadia, an analyst at Mumbai-based HDFC Securities.

“GIC may not be willing to pay a premium of 11% on the current market price of Fortis and that may have led to the deferment of allotment."

Fortis, controlled by Indian billionaire brothers Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh, had earlier agreed to allot shares worth Rs3.8 billion ($82 million) to GIC.

Fortis also said it had approved the conversion of warrants into shares totaling Rs13.42 billion. These warrants were issued last year with a rights issue.

Fortis had wanted to build a controlling stake in Parkway after buying roughly 25% holding before Khazanah made a surprise $835 million offer last month to lift its stake from 23.5% to 51.5%.

Singapore’s securities regulator has given Fortis until 30 July to say whether it intends to make a full offer for Parkway.

Fortis had previously said it was keeping all options open on Khazanah’s offer for Parkway.