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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to vacate the stay on the sale of Fortis Healthcare Ltd (FHL) to IHH Healthcare Berhad and posted the matter for final hearing on 26 February.

A bench headed by Justice R.F. Nariman was hearing a plea by Japanese firm Daiichi Sankyo, seeking to restrain it from transferring 4,000 crore it received from Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Berhad to RHT Health Trust, Singapore.

Daiichi’s counsel told the court that applications one after the other were being filed in the matter as it sought a final hearing.

On 7 February, in its reply, FHL told the apex court that the question of restraining it from transferring 4,000 crore received from Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Berhad to RHT Health Trust, Singapore, did not arise as the court had only ordered a status quo with regard to the “transaction between FHL and IHH" under its earlier order.

“The order of 14 December does not cover the transaction between FHL and RHT Health Trust through which no controlling stake in FHL is being transferred to IHH. As such, the question of restraining transfer of funds to RHT does not arise and any such transfer does not go against the order," FHL submitted.

On 14 December, the top court had ordered status quo with regard to the sale of controlling stake in FHL to Malaysian IHH Healthcare Berhad, putting a cloud of uncertainty over the Fortis open offer, which was to commence on 18 December and close on 1 January 2019. FHL’s application seeking modification of this order to the extent that it was passed without it being a party to the contempt petition is pending.

The order was passed on a petition by Daiichi Sankyo, which accused former promoters—Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh—of violating court orders. Daiichi had moved a plea against the Singh brothers and Indiabulls, alleging that they had created fresh encumbrances for around 1.7 million of the total 2.3 million of Fortis shares despite the apex court forbidding it.

After a long bidding war, a binding offer by IHH Healthcare Berhad to invest 4,000 crore in the cash-strapped hospital chain, outbidding a consortium of Manipal Health Enterprises and TPG Capital, was unanimously accepted in July.

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