Malaysia's IHH Healthcare halts open offer for India's Fortis after court ruling

Dec 17 (Reuters) - Malaysia's IHH Healthcare Bhd said here on Monday its open offer to buy an additional 26 percent stake in India's Fortis Healthcare Ltd will not proceed as per the timeline following a court ruling.

Cash-strapped Fortis accepted IHH’S investment offer in July after an extended bidding war for control of the company which operates about 30 private hospitals in India.

Under the deal, IHH will pay Fortis 40 billion rupees for 31 percent stake, and then bid for another 26 percent as per Indian regulations, offering up to 33 billion rupees.

India’s top court on Friday ordered status quo be maintained with regard to sale of the controlling stake in Fortis, after Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo Co Ltd filed a contempt plea against Fortis founders Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh, according to a CNBC TV18 report.

Daiichi argued that Singh brothers created encumbrances on 1.2 million shares of Fortis in violation of court orders, the report added. The court has issued notices to the Singh brothers.

Meanwhile, Fortis said here on Saturday it was not a party to the judicial proceedings and that the proceedings were solely related to the ex-promoters, who are no longer a part of the company.

IHH said the order does not impact the share subscription with Fortis which was completed on Nov. 13.

Shares of Fortis fell as much as 3.7 percent to 136.20 rupees in heavy trading, with more than 3.1 mln shares changing hands by 0806 GMT, compared with their 30-day average of 2.6 mln shares. (Reporting by Krishna V Kurup; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)