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The plan for fresh capital infusion (of Rs 12.50 billion) by Hero’s Munjals and Dabur’s Burmans has the potential to alter the entire deal scenario for Fortis Hospitals, such that the latter now has a scope to defer its sale altogether.
Speaking to Business Standard, Sunil Kant Munjal, chairman, Hero Enterprise, said they are investing in Fortis for the long term.
“We do not do short-term investments. We think Fortis is a great asset and it both needs and deserves liquidity right now,” Munjal said.
He added this is not only good from a shareholder’s point of view, but for the entire ecosystem of Fortis.
When asked if this may alter the sale plan of cash-strapped Fortis (which has less than Rs 700 million of liquid cash), Munjal quipped, “Quite possible.” He felt there was a real possibility that this cash infusion may defer the sale plan of Fortis. “Ours is probably the most simple and straightforward offer,” he said, adding it required no change of structure.
Terming it the ‘right healing patch’ for Fortis, Munjal felt if the board approves this cash infusion and stake sale, Fortis may quickly start to grow back. As for why Munjals and Burmans were not considering picking up a controlling stake in Fortis, the second-largest health care system in the country, he said, “It is a question of how much money one would put in at one place at one time.”