The Munjals and the Burmans have gathered up to win the race to acquire India’s second largest hospital chain Fortis Heathcare, as Hero and Dabur have joined hands to offer an investment of Rs 1250 crore for Fortis.

The race to acquire Fortis Healthcare has taken a new interesting twist as Sunil Munjal-led Hero Enterprise and the Burmans of Dabur decided to team up and offer Rs 1,250 crore investment in the company. The interesting joint investment proposal from two Indian business families – the Munjals and the Burmans – has intensified the race to gain control of the country’s second-largest private hospital chain. The combine has proposed a two-stage transaction valuing Fortis at Rs 156 per share, just above Manipal’s offer at Rs 155 apiece.

The offer of Rs 1250 crore worth investment will be done through a preferential share allotment, according to a Fortis exchange filing on Thursday. Alongside this, the investment proposal is subject to certain conditions from Fortis, like – an immediate investment of Rs 500 crore and Rs 750 crore after diligence is completed within three weeks. This development makes the race interesting – especially after the Fortis Board had approved a takeover offer from Manipal Hospitals and is also fielding a non-binding rival offer from Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Berhad.

Fortis is actually evaluating the Hero-Dabur proposal and said that, “The utilisation of proceeds from this funding should only be used for paying dues to Fortis’s employees, repayment of loans and payment to pressing creditors.” Meanwhile, Sunil Munjal, promoter of Hero Enterprise believes that the offer was most attractive one among others and will infuse funds immediately to the liquid-starved company. On the other hand, the offer by Manipal Hospitals – despite being lower in price, will create the country’s largest private healthcare business, unlock operational synergies and build value down the road.

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