Manipal acquires majority stake in AMRI Hospitals for Rs 2,300 cr

by Aditya Kumar

India’s second-largest hospital chain, Manipal Hospitals, has acquired an 84% majority stake in Kolkata-based AMRI Hospitals, which is part of Emami Group. The acquisition aims to strengthen Manipal’s presence in the country’s eastern region, which also receives patients from neighboring countries. While the exact deal size remains undisclosed, market sources estimate it to be around Rs 2,300 crore.

With the addition of 1,200 beds from AMRI, Manipal Hospitals now has a total of 9,500 beds. The hospital chain plans to expand its capacity to 12,000 beds within the next three years through both organic and inorganic growth strategies. Manipal Group, with a significant stake in Manipal Hospitals, sees this deal as fitting into its growth strategy of expanding its presence across eastern India and becoming the largest hospital chain in the region. On the other hand, Emami Group decided to divest its majority stake in AMRI Hospitals to focus on its core business, which includes FMCG.

Dr. Ranjan Pai, chairman of Manipal Education and Medical Group (MEMG), stated that the acquisition aligns with Manipal Hospitals’ objective of strengthening its presence and serving patients in the underserved healthcare market of eastern India. Dilip Jose, MD and CEO of Manipal Hospitals, expressed the hospital chain’s plans to expand further into tier-2 cities and towns of West Bengal, in addition to setting up three hospitals in Bengaluru and adding more beds in Raipur.

Manipal Group intends to add more beds over the next 18-36 months through the inorganic route, increasing the total bed count to 12,000 across India. Meanwhile, Emami Group directors, Aditya Agarwal and Manish Goenka, emphasized their emotional connection to AMRI Hospitals and their commitment to giving back to the society. Emami Group will retain a 15% stake in AMRI Hospitals, while the Government of West Bengal will hold a 1% stake.

Emami promoters are also seeking to reduce their share pledge in the FMCG company Emami Ltd from 33%. The company had previously indicated that the pledge would come down to 18-20% in the first quarter earnings call. In April, Temasek acquired an additional 41% stake in Manipal Health Enterprises (MHE), valuing MHE at Rs 40,000 crore. Manipal Group currently holds around 30% of MHE.

The AMRI-Manipal deal faced legal and negotiation challenges, resulting in a lengthy process. However, after discussions were renewed in February, the deal eventually went through. Max Healthcare was reportedly also interested in acquiring AMRI Hospitals, offering a better bid than Manipal’s Rs 1,800 crore. Max Healthcare, however, did not confirm the development.

This acquisition marks a significant step for Manipal Hospitals in expanding its footprint in eastern India and serving the healthcare needs of the region. With its plans to add more beds and expand to other cities, Manipal Hospitals aims to become the largest hospital chain in eastern India, providing quality healthcare services to a larger population.

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