A Fresenius Medical Care AG dialysis machine stands inside a Fortis Healthcare India Renkare dialysis clinic in New Delhi (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Three Independent Directors Quit Fortis Board Ahead Of Shareholders Meet

Three independent directors of Fortis Healthcare Ltd. have quit its board, ahead of a crucial stakeholders’ meeting tomorrow.

Harpal Singh, Sabina Vaisoha and Tejinder Singh Shergill have stepped down from the board of the healthcare services provider citing personal reasons, according to Fortis’ exchange filings. Brian Tempest, the former chief executive officer of Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd., is the only independent director left on the board.

The resignations come ahead of a board meeting called by two institutional investors to seek the removal of four independent directors for allegedly failing to work in the interest of all shareholders, particularly in their handling of the hospital chain’s proposed sale. These investors – East Bridge Capital Master Fund I Ltd. and National Westminster Bank Plc. as Trustee of the Jupiter India Fund – hold more than 12 percent stake in Fortis.

Also read: Fortis Board Backs Munjals And Burmans In Takeover Battle

These institutional investors have also sought shareholders’ nod for appointment of three directors—Suvalaxmi Chakraborty, Ravi Rajagopal and lndrajit Banerjee to the company’s board.

The four directors had earlier sent a joint representation to the shareholders of the company refuting allegations of not exercising their fiduciary duties and stated that they fairly represent interests of all shareholders.

Earlier this month, Fortis’ board passed over bids from TPG Capital-backed Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt., Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Bhd., KKR & Co.-backed Radiant Life Care Pvt., and China’s Fosun International Ltd., in favor of an offer from Munjals and Burmans.

Also read: Fortis Directors Deserve a Discharge Slip