Australian court clears Fortis's Rs1,452-cr sale of Dental Corp to Bupa

Dental CorpFortis Healthcare Ltd, India's largest hospital chain, today said that an Australian court has cleared its A$270 million (Rs1,452 crore) sale of its Australian subsidiary Dental Corp Holdings Ltd, to British medical services group Bupa Plc.

Dental Corp Holdings is the largest dental care network in Australia and New Zealand

"Supreme Court of Victoria on May 24, 2013 approved the scheme of arrangement for Bupa Australia Health Pty Ltd to complete its full acquisition of Dental Corporation Holdings Ltd and consequently, Bupa will acquire 100 per cent of the shares in Dental Corporation at completion on May 31, 2013," Fortis Healthcare said in a statement.

In December 2012, Fortis, controlled by brothers Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh, agreed to sell its 64-per cent stake in Dental Corp to Bupa subject to necessary regulatory approvals.

Fortis Healthcare's Singapore-based subsidiary Fortis Healthcare International Pte Ltd had in 2010 acquired a 33-per cent stake in Dental Corp, raising it in 2011 to a majority stake.

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

It has 190 clinics, more than 560 dentists, and a 34.68-per cent interest in Dental Corporation of Canada Holdings Inc, which operates 25 practices, and has majority representation on the board.

While announcing the sale, Fortis had 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.

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 without shareholders. Bupa ploughs its profits into expansion and currently has more than 10 million customers in over 190 countries.

The acquisition will complement Bupa's regional healthcare offering, which includes private health insurance, care homes, retirement villages, personal medical alarms, health coaching, opticians and corporate health services.

Bupa Australia and New Zealand managing drector, Dean Holden, said, ''Dental Corp is a strong and successful business with scope to continue to grow its profitability, footprint and service offerings.''

''However, our immediate priority is to work with its senior management and dentists to appropriately align and connect the Dental Corporation and Bupa business, with as little or no disruption to our customers and employees as possible.''