Fortis Healthcare to sell entire stake in Australia's Dental Corp to UK's Bupa Plc for $285 mn

Fortis Healthcare Ltd, India's largest hospital chain, controlled by brothers Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh, is selling its 64-per cent stake in its Australian subsidiary Dental Corp. Holdings Ltd, to British medical services group Bupa Plc for A$270 million ($285 million).

In 2010 Fortis Healthcare's Singapore-based subsidiary Fortis Healthcare International Pte Ltd had acquired a 33-per cent stake in Dental Corp, raising it in 2011 to a majority in the largest dental care network in Australia and New Zealand.

With 2011 revenues of A$339 million and 182 dental centres, Dental Corp provides a comprehensive range of preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry, as well  as endodontic, periodontic, orthodontic, prosthodontic and oral surgery services.

Fortis said that the divesture is in line with its strategic decision to focus on healthcare in Asia, including India, and on developing, staffing, operating and managing healthcare assets that cater to complex clinical work.

"The move is good for Fortis as it aligns the company with its current strategic priorities. This will help consolidate our presence as one of the fastest growing healthcare companies in the region," said Fortis Healthcare executive chairman and executive vice chairman Malvinder and Shivinder Singh.

The proceed from the sale will go towards reducing the company's debt that stood at $1.1 billion as on June 2012.

London-based privately run Bupa is a leading international healthcare group offering personal and company health insurance, run care homes for older people and hospitals, and workplace health services, health assessments and chronic disease management services, including health coaching, and home healthcare.

It is an alternative to the UK's National Health Service, a tax-funded healthcare system and has no shareholders, and Bupa invests its profits into expansion. It currently has more than ten million customers in over 190 countries.