Wockhard to sell 10 hospitals to Fortis for around Rs1,200 crore

Pharmaceutical and biotechnology major Wockhardt Limited has agreed to sell 10 hospital properties in Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai to Fortis Healthcare Ltd, for around Rs1,200 crore, reports said.

The report comes close on the heels of the company announcing the completion of the divestment of its Animal Health Division to Vétoquinol of France. The sale was agreed to at end-June this year. (See: Cash-strapped Wockhardt sells veterinary arm to France's Vetoquinol).

Earlier, on 17 June, Wockhardt had announced the sale of its German business Esparma to Mova GmbH, a subsidiary of Lindopharm GmbH, Germany. Wockhardt had acquired the Esparma business in May 2004 (See: Wockhardt sells German arm to Mova Pharma).

Wockhardt, which is now focusing on its core business of pharmaceutical production, is expected to announce the sale on Monday, the report said citing sources.

Fortis, last week, approved a rights issue to raise around Rs1,000 crore, which could be used to fund acquisitions and expansion plans.

Fortis, promoted by Ranbaxy founders, is expanding its presence to cover the whole of India. The hospital chain, which has 28 hospitals as of now, plans to increase the number 40 by 2012.

Habil Khorakiwala and his family members own 93 per cent in Wockhardt Hospitals. Reports said the two groups have arrived at an understanding.