August 31, 2007

Fortis plans expansion

Ranbaxy promoter group company Fortis Healthcare plans to invest Rs 1,800 crore for a pan-India expansion, including setting up a medicity in Gurgaon, and additional 28 hospitals by 2010.

"In the next three years, our plan is to become a national player from a north India-centric player, with 12 hospitals at present across 7 states. For this purpose, we intend to have 40 hospitals under the Fortis group across 14 states by 2010," Fortis managing director and chief executive officer Shivinder Mohan Singh told reporters here on Monday.

The medicity project at Gurgaon will entail an investment of Rs 800 crore, while the balance investment will be used for setting up or acquiring 28 hospitals.

It may be pointed out that Dr Naresh Trehan who quit Fortis-run Escorts hospital recently over differences with the management, is also setting up a huge medicity project in Gurgaon.

The total outlay for the expansion at Fortis, which includes greenfield facilities, management contracts and acquisitions, could be to the tune of half a billion dollars. Of this, the company's contribution would be around Rs 1,000 crore, he said.

"Presently, the company operates 12 hospitals, of which four were acquired, four under management contract and similar number are own-developed facilities. Going forward, we intend to maintain this ratio," Singh said, adding that going forward the company will maintain a debt-equity ratio of 1:1.

The company plans to tap western and southern parts of India market by the end of this year. Post-expansion, the company is targeting to have 7,000 beds, treat 17.5 lakh patients and perform two lakh operations and surgeries annually.

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