IHH Healthcare ( Group) has reiterated its commitment to India, announcing its intent to continue on its growth plans for Fortis Healthcare.
This comes ahead of the upcoming hearing in the Supreme Court of India on whether IHH can be allowed to proceed with its open offer to acquire additional shares in Fortis.
The Group acquired a 31 per cent controlling stake in Fortis in 2018, which triggered a mandatory open offer to acquire another 26 per cent of Fortis shares from the market.
The open offer has not proceeded due to ongoing legal proceedings with respect to the transaction pending before the Supreme Court where the next hearing is scheduled for 10th February 2021.
India is the Group’s fourth home market, together with Malaysia, Singapore and Turkey. Between Fortis and IHH’s Global Hospitals and Continental Hospitals, the Group is a leading private healthcare operator in India with a network of more than 30 hospitals.
As the largest shareholder and working closely with the Fortis management team, IHH has put in place and continues to execute on a turnaround plan for Fortis which had been facing financial difficulties. Over the past two years, Fortis has progressively strengthened its balance sheet, improved its financial liquidity as well as streamlined its organisational structure to become more efficient. This has helped Fortis to remain resilient amid the impact of COVID-19, and to continue to play a critical role in supporting the Indian Government in combatting the pandemic.
For its latest financial results for Q3 FY2021, Fortis posted a strong recovery from the previous quarter on an accelerated recovery and pick up in business momentum. Its robust performance means it is now positioning for growth and expansion of both of its core businesses – hospitals and diagnostics. Partnering the government to fight the COVID-19 war Fortis has also championed support of the Indian Government’s COVID-19 efforts. Besides taking in COVID-19 patients to ease the load on public healthcare facilities, Fortis is also supporting COVID-19 testing and has rolled out tele consult services to help more remote patients access medical support.
More than 110,000 teleconsults has been conducted across Fortis Network hospitals. To date, Fortis has treated more than 24,000 COVID-19 patients and donated ₹8.4 crore (US$ 1.15 million) towards COVID-19 relief and research efforts, including to the Prime Minister’ National Relief Fund (PMNRF).
When the crisis was at its peak, Fortis had set aside more beds on top of the 1,300 already designated for COVID-19 patients should the need arise, and is supporting the government in administering its vaccination program. On 14th August 2020, Fortis announced its intent to rebrand as ‘Parkway’, an IHH brand that is synonymous with excellence in patient-centric, quality care in Asia, which will be rolled out once it receives approval from the Supreme Court. This is in line with the Group’s ongoing efforts to drive greater synergies across its international network of 80 hospitals across 10 countries as part of its Refreshed Strategy, and another indication of its commitment to Fortis and India.