Punj Lloyd expects to sell Medanta Hospital stake by month-end

Infrastructure firm Punj Lloyd is selling its stake in Global Health Pvt Ltd, which owns and runs Gurgaon-based multi speciality hospital Medanta- The Medicity, and expects the same to be completed by the end of this month.

“The Medanta stake sale process is taking a little longer than we actually thought, but are hopeful that it should happen in this quarter,” Punj Lloyd managing director & group CEO J P Chalasani said in a conference call with analysts last month.

The company, however, did not reveal further details on the proposed stake sale.

Punj Lloyd holds around 17 per cent in Medanta and as per valuation of the firm in the last transaction struck in 2013, this is valued at a little over $100 million.

Earlier in February, media reports had said that the company is in talks with the US-based private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) to divest its holding for nearly Rs 654 crore (around $105 million), to cut down its debt. KKR had recently backed a holding company of the promoters of Apollo Hospital Enterprises, which gives it an option to pick direct stake in India’s largest hospital firm.

Medanta is co-promoted by Sunil Sachdev and Naresh Trehan who jointly hold nearly 54 per cent stake in the hospital. The hospital has a capacity of 1,250 beds and over 350 critical care beds and 45 operation theatres.

Last year in December, another US-based PE firm Avenue Capital exited Medanta by selling its 26 per cent stake to The Carlyle Group for around Rs 960 crore. Carlyle also invested some money directly into the company through a fresh issue of shares.

Delhi-based Punj Lloyd—which operates in 22 countries—is cutting down its debt to nearly Rs 3,000 crore by selling its non-core assets.

The company is also expected to get some money in settlement from Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) relating to work it has undertaken with PT Sempec in January 2007.

In addition it expects sale of some barges. “The draft agreements are being put in place. We are reasonably confident that it should happen in this quarter,” Chalasani said in the conference call.

Besides these, the firm is looking to work on its claims management and is it looking to resolve around Rs 2,000 crore claims.

In other significant deals in the hospital space, existing investors Olympus Capital and IVFA put in $60 million more in Aster DM Healthcare; IFC picked stake worth $100 million in Fortis and StanChart PE bet around $50 million in the same company.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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