Fortis shortlists Munjal-Burman, TPG-Manipal, IHH, Radiant for stake sale

Fortis said it has received interest from various parties on May 31, as per the timeline specified in the fresh process for bidding

Fortis Healthcare on Friday said it has shortlisted four entities — the Munjal-Burman combine, Manipal-TPG consortium, Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Berhand and Radiant Life Care to bid for the sale of its business.

In a regulatory filing, Fortis said it has received interest from various parties on May 31, as per the timeline specified in the fresh process for bidding.

It said the company’s board has decided to include the following four parties — Hero Enterprise Investment Office and Burman Family Office (Dabur), IHH Healthcare Berhand, Radiant Life Care, Manipal-TPG consortium in the bidding process.

Earlier this week, Fortis Healthcare initiated a fresh time-bound bidding process for its sale after terminating the offer made by the Munjal-Burman combine.

As part of the process, the Fortis board decided to invite three entities that had put in binding offers — Munjal-Burman combine, TPG-Manipal consortium, and Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Berhad — to participate in the fresh bidding process subject to certain conditions.

The three entities were given time till today to confirm adherence to the new bidding process while other interested parties were also required to submit an Expression of Interest (EoI) by May 31.

As per the fresh criteria, the buyers have to make a minimum investment of Rs 1,500 crore into Fortis Healthcare by way of preferential allotment apart from having a plan for funding the acquisition of RHT Health Trust (RHT) and a plan for providing exit to private equity investors of diagnostic arm SRL.

Among others, the bids should be unconditional as well as mention about the source of funds for the transaction and elaborate on the plans for retention of current management and employees.

Last week, Fortis board was reconstituted after shareholders had voted out its director Brian Tempest, who was among the four directors whose removal was sought by two institutional investors.

Three other directors — Harpal Singh, Sabina Vaisoha and Tejinder Singh Shergill — had resigned ahead of an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on May 22. During the meeting, shareholders voted out Tempest.

Interestingly, these four directors were among those who had favoured the binding offer made by Munjal-Burman combine.

Following the board revamp, Suvalaxmi Chakraborty, Ravi Rajagopal and Indrajit Banerjee have joined as independent directors.

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RCom, Ericsson agree on settlement; green signal for Reliance Jio deal

The NCLAT asked the Anil Ambani-controlled firm to pay Ericsson Rs 5.5 billion by the end of September

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) stayed the May 15 order of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in Mumbai, which had admitted Reliance Communications (RCom) and two of its subsidiaries for insolvency proceedings.

The NCLAT asked the Anil Ambani-controlled firm to pay Ericsson Rs 5.5 billion by the end of September.

With the stay on bankruptcy proceedings, RCom can now continue with its asset monetisation scheme involving the sale of towers, optic fibre cable network, spectrum and media convergence nodes to brother Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance JioInfocomm (Jio) for Rs 170 billion.

On Tuesday, NCLAT chairman Justice S J Mukhopadhaya asked the parties to settle the matter stating that the fate of operational creditors under the corporate resolution process was not ideal, especially if Ericsson wished to recover the majority of its dues.

NCLAT also asked RCom and Ericsson to file an affidavit by June 7 stating that the two companies will abide by the settlement.

Ericsson India, a subsidiary of the Swedish telecom equipment maker and service provider, had filed a case at NCLT, Mumbai last September seeking the liquidation of Reliance Communications (RCom), and its subsidiaries Reliance Infratel and Reliance Telecom, in order to recover Rs 11.5 billion.

The three companies were subsequently admitted under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), and NCLT appointed a resolution professional (RP) to take over the management of each company. Ericsson had argued that it had entered into a seven-year agreement in 2014 with RCom and its subsidiaries for maintaining, upgrading and developing the latter’s telecommunications infrastructure, which was not honoured.

RCom and its subsidiaries owed Ericsson around Rs 9.78 billion for their services which, Ericsson’s counsel told the NCLT, had increased to around Rs 16 billion given that there were delays in the payment, despite several notices being issued to the Anil Ambani controlled companies.

RCom filed its appeal with the NCLAT, and was awarded with a stay on the order admitting the three firms under the IBC.

RCom and its subsidiaries now have the permission to go ahead with the debt restructuring plan that was prepared in December 2017. There were fears of the three Reliance group companies undergoing insolvency proceedings, which would have meant that the asset monetisation scheme under the plan would not be allowed.

Amazon may buy 10% in Future Retail for $600 mn, expand offline retail biz

The move comes days after Walmart acquired a majority stake for $16 billion home-grown e-commerce firm Flipkart at a valuation of around $20 billion.

 

Looking to expand and consolidate its presence in the Indian offline retail market, American e-commerce giant Amazon is in talks with Kishore Biyani-controlled Future Retail to acquire a 10 per cent stake in it, according to a FactorDaily.comreport.

The report comes days after Amazon‘s global rival Walmart acquired a majority stake for $16 billion in home-grown e-commerce firm and Amazon’s main rival in India, Flipkart, at a valuation of around $20 billion. With an increased burden of competition from Flipkart because of Walmart’s entry into the sector, Amazon is looking to make inroads into the offline retail sector to enhance its position in India’s retail space.

Here are some of the details of Amazon-Future Retail deal as reported by FactorDaily.com :

1. Future Retail’s valuation: The deal values Kishore Biyani’s Future Retail, the company that owns brick-and-mortar retail outlets like Big Bazaar and Easy Day, at about $6 billion (Rs 40,872 crore).

2. Deal value: Amazon may spend around $500-$600 million to acquire a 10 per cent stake in Future Retail, whose market cap is around $4 billion.

3. Coping up with the competition: After Walmart’s backdoor entry into India’s e-retail sector through Flipkart, competition is expected to get fierce in the country’s e-retail space. To expand its base in the Indian consumer market, Amazon is looking to enhance its business profile through the offline retail channel.

4. Amazon in IndiaAccording to a Citi Research report, Indian e-commerce sector is expected to be worth $202 billion in the next 10 years. Amazon is expected to be a major part of this growth, with a 35 per cent market share. The current valuation of Amazon India is pegged at $16 billion.

5. Amazon’s previous investments in offline retail: Amazon had previously picked up a 5 per cent stake in Shoppers Stop for $26.35 million (Rs 179.25 crore).

6. Other buyers in the race: Amazon is not the only one eying a stake in Future Retail. Jack Ma’s Alibaba and Walmart have also shown interest in it. Discussions are underway and any decision is yet to be taken.

7. What makes Future Retail a good investment target for Amazon? With a series of acquisitions, Biyani has consolidated Future Retail’s business and it could be a perfect choice for Amazon to enter into the offline market. Future Retail has 773 stores across the country, Big Bazaar and Easy Day combined. As Amazon wants to build a food and grocery business, it can capitalise on the fact that Future Retail gets 35 per cent of its business from garments and grocery and has a large number of in-house brands in 68 categories.

Heartbreak, anger in US’ Richardson after Indian girl’s death

The Richardson community in the US was mourning the death of Sherin Mathews, the three-year-old Indian girl whose foster father has claimed that she choked while drinking milk, with many people asking why he did not wake his nurse wife when the child was struggling to breathe.

Sherin, who had developmental issues and limited verbal communication skills, was confirmed dead by US police yesterday after over two weeks of investigation. She was missing since October 7.

Wesley Mathews, 37, the father of Sherin, told the police that his daughter choked while drinking milk and he removed her body from the house as he “believed she had died”.

He was re-arrested and charged with first-degree felony injury to a child due to a conflicting statement to police.

The arrest came a day after the body of a small child was found in a culvert near their home in suburban Dallas.

While the cause of her death was still being probed, the community and neighbourhoods all across Texas are shocked, heartbroken, angry and mourning her death.

Wesley’s wife Sini Mathews, who is a registered nurse and could have helped her, was reportedly sleeping in her room.

“All these lies, first punishing the girl and putting her under tree, later choking her in a garage at 3 AM for not drinking milk, does not add up. It is heartbreaking and shocking,” said a teary-eyed resident Diana.

“It will be another story soon, when police will find the actual cause of the death,” she said.

Another neighbour Barabaa Diamond Johnson asked why did not Wesley Mathews wake his nurse wife as Sherin Mathews choked to death, especially when she is a registered nurse at Children’s hospital Dallas. (more)

Loneliness may be a greater public health hazard than obesity: Study

Loneliness and isolation may actually lead to early death, researches say

Loneliness may be a greater public health hazard than obesity, according to a study which found that social isolation may put people at an increased risk of early death.

“Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need – crucial to both well-being and survival,” said Julianne Holt-Lunstad, professor at Brigham Young University in the US.

“Extreme examples show infants in custodial care who lack human contact fail to thrive and often die, and indeed, social isolation or solitary confinement has been used as a form of punishment,” said Holt-Lunstad.

“Yet an increasing portion of the USPopulation now experiences isolation regularly,” she said.

To illustrate the influence of social isolation and loneliness on the risk for premature mortality, Holt-Lunstad presented data from two research reviews.

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The first involved 148 studies, representing more than 300,000 participants, and found that greater social connection is associated with a 50 per cent reduced risk of early death.

The second study, involving 70 studies representing more than 3.4 million individuals from North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, examined the role that social isolation, loneliness or living alone might have on mortality.

Researchers found that all three had a significant and equal effect on the risk of premature death, one that was equal to or exceeded the effect of other well-accepted risk factors such as obesity.

“There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase risk for premature mortality, and the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators,” said Holt-Lunstad.

‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’: Informative, inspirational (IANS Review, Rating: ***)

Film: “Sachin: A Billion Dreams”; Director: James Erskine; Cast: Sachin Tendulkar, Anjali Tendulkar, Ajit Tendulkar, Sara Tendulkar, Mayuresh Pem, Mayur More; Rating: ***

“Sachin: A Billion Dreams” is a biopic that gives a holistic view of Sachin Tendulkar’s life, who is revered as “the God” of cricket by his fans.

Structurally, the film is designed as a documentary. While the film encapsulates the life of the master blaster right from his birth till date, it also gives an insight into the socio-economic situation of the country, making it feel like heavy-duty stuff.

Also Read : Want my children to be judged as individuals: Sachin Tendulkar

This may not be the first documentary on Tendulkar, but probably it is the only one endorsed by him. So, you have him as the narrator sharing his personal moments along with his views and fears in a sincere and heartfelt manner.

While the film tells us of his growth as a cricketer which is common knowledge, it also reveals his personal life bringing to the fore his close-knit family and friends. How he got the name Sachin, how he met his wife, got married and how he spends his free moments, are a few of the interesting nuggets shared. So apart from Sachin you actually get to see his family and friends. Read more