People move through the corridor of a patient ward. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

KKR-Backed Radiant Life Care Joins The Race To Acquire Fortis Healthcare

The takeover battle for troubled Fortis Healthcare intensified with KKR-backed Radiant Life Care Private Ltd, the fifth suitor, throwing in its hat into the ring.

Radiant Life has proposed to make an investment and/or re-structure Fortis Healthcare as part of a non-binding offer, the country's second-largest hospital chain operator said in an exchange filing today.

The board of Fortis Healthcare Ltd. yesterday approved forming an advisory committee to evaluate “binding offers” for its healthcare and diagnostics businesses.

As per the latest offer, Fortis will first have to demerge its hospital business into a separate entity, excluding its 56 percent stake in SRL. Radiant will then make an open offer to the shareholders of the new entity at an adjusted price of Rs 126 per share with an intention to acquire at least 26 percent stake.

If Radiant fails to acquire this stake, it will infuse a sum similar to the cost of 26 percent stake in the new entity. Radiant will then carry out a rights issue which will be underwritten by them to fund the RHT acquisition.

This is the fifth deal that Fortis has received. It values the company, including its stake in SRL at Rs 165 per share, the highest value ascribed to the company so far. Radiant has also offered to buy Fortis' interest in FMRI and Shalimarbagh hospitals. It said that the offer is subject to satisfactory due diligence.

Within the last one month, the troubled healthcare company had received binding offers from Manipal Health Enterprise Pvt Ltd., and Burman and Munjal families. Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Bhd and the Chinese conglomerate Fosun International also entered the fray.

This takeover battle began after founders Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh stepped down from the board amid allegations of siphoning funds. They also lost shareholding control due to mounting debt.