August 23, 2009

Fortis to buy Wockhardt hospitals for around Rs 1,200 cr

Fortis is close to acquire 10 hospitals of healthcare major Wockhardt for up to Rs 1,200 crore and an announcement could be made anytime now.

A deal could be signed in next few days, sources in the know of the development said. When contacted, Wockhardt Chairman Habil Khorakiwala said, "We are still talking to two parties and we have not finalised anything yet."

Declining to comment on the proposed deal, Fortis Healthcare CEO and Managing Director Shivinder Mohan Singh said, "We do not comment on market speculations."

The sources, however, said the deal, which will be in the range of Rs 1,000-1,200 crore and include 10 hospitals — three in Kolkata, two in Mumbai and five in Bangalore, may be singed within a few of days.

It is not clear yet as to how would the Wockhardt management utilise the funds raised from the sale of hospitals. The pharma business of the company has been undergoing corporate debt restructuring to reschedule loans of about Rs 3,700 crore.

"The hospitals business is not a part of the listed (pharma) company," Khorakiwala said.

On whether promoters will utilise the money raised from the sale of hospitals to retire debts, he said, "The details of all these things have not yet been finalised."

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