Fortis dials new directors on activist funds’ call; bids panel misses deadline
Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Fortis Healthcare Ltd said on Thursday that it has asked three persons to join its board immediately as additional independent directors, even as an expert advisory committee missed the deadline to submit recommendations on binding proposals for the sale of the business.

In a stock exchange disclosure, Fortis said two of its investors - Jupiter India Fund and East Bridge - had recommended that Suvalaxmi Chakraborty, Ravi Rajagopal and Indrajit Banerjee join the board, subject to their acceptance.

Fortis also said that the expert advisory committee constituted by the board to evaluate multiple bids for its sale could not deliberate upon the proposals as one of its members, Renuka Ramnath, had resigned from the committee on Wednesday, 

Ramnath is the founder of private equity firm Multiples Alternate Asset Management.

The board meeting was adjourned and will be reconvened on Friday, Fortis said.

There will also be discussions about further restructuring of the board on Friday, Fortis added.

Ramnath's resignation from the board - which Fortis had attributed to her "preoccupation" - had intensified the drama around the sale of Fortis.

A Mint report, citing regulatory filings, said one of the bidders – Sunil Kant Munjal – is an investor in Multiples’ second fund. This posed a potential conflict of interest.

Munjal’s Hero Enterprise Investment Office has teamed up with the Burman Family Office of consumer goods firm Dabur in making a proposal to take over Fortis.

The other bidders in the fray are TPG Capital-backed Manipal Health Enterprises Pvt Ltd, Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Berhad and KKR-backed Radiant Life Pvt. Ltd. China’s Fosun International Ltd had also submitted a proposal, which was, however, non-binding.

The advisory committee, chaired by Deepak Kapoor, former chairman and CEO of Price Waterhouse Coopers, is only considering the binding proposals. The other member in the panel is Lalit Bhasin, President, Society of Indian Law Firms & Managing Partner, Bhasin & Co.

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