Mandatory tender offer: Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare seeks further advice to determine next course of action

Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare, the largest shareholder in Fortis healthcare on Monday said that it is seeking further advice and is in discussions with “relevant authorities” to determine the next steps with regard to the mandatory tender offer.

IHH had won a bid for a 31% stake in Fortis in 2018, which triggered an open offer for another 26% as per Indian regulations.

Minority shareholders of Fortis would have had the right to tender their shares at a fixed price during this period. However, it could not be triggered.

“For the Mandatory Tender Offer (“MTO”) for IHH to acquire an additional 26.1% stake in Fortis, IHH is obtaining further advice and is in discussions with relevant authorities to determine the next steps, in full compliance with all requisite regulations in India,” it said in a Malaysian stock exchange filing.

The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a forensic audit of the share sale in Fortis healthcare in 2018, triggering a rout in Fortis’s stock. In its order, the Supreme Court said that the Delhi High Court will decide on the open offer, proposed by IHH Healthcare.

A ruling by three judge-panel, headed by Chief Justice U.U. Lalit also sought a probe into sale of shares in Fortis by lenders and transfer of money to RHT Health Trust on a petition filed by Daiichi Sankyo Co.

Reaffirming its commitment to the patients in India, and to Fortis and IHH investors, IHH said that the Supreme Court has “not found nor indicated any wrongdoing by IHH in terms of our investment into Fortis in its final order,” it said.

IHH said that it remains steadfast in its ability and commitment to execute its business plans to grow the operations and serve the “healthcare needs of our patients in India with care and excellence, while protecting the interests of our stakeholders”.

In light of the misconceptions which exist, IHH clarified that the judgment by the court supports “our belief that our investment into Fortis was undertaken in a fair and transparent manner, and the SLP, the original contempt Petition and the suo moto contempt Petition are disposed of with a direction to the High Court to inter alia consider issuing appropriate process and appointing forensic auditor(s) to analyse the transactions entered into between Fortis and RHT and other related transactions,” it further said.

IHH said that it remains as Fortis’ largest shareholder with a 31.1% stake, and the judgment does not in any way alter its commitment to growing healthcare operations and serving patients in India in line with their ‘Care. For Good’ aspiration across all 82 hospitals in their 10 markets, it said.

(With inputs from health)